In the biggest game of his young career, Lake Forest (Calif.) El Toro left-hander Sam Glick produced his best performance Tuesday afternoon.
“I was stressing about this start for a long time,” Glick said. “This was my first CIF start.”
Glick looked like a veteran, pitching the Chargers into the CIF Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals with a 1-0 victory over Oaks Christian on the Lions’ home field.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior UCLA commit struck out 10 as he tossed a two-hit shutout.
“I haven't really had many complete games this year. For me to do it right here…it means a lot,” Glick said. “My defense made plays behind me and I just pounded the zone.
“My two-seam fastball was working really well for me. I was able to throw it for strikes most of the game and I was able to mix in a curveball to keep them off balance.”
Glick’s fastball was up to 88 mph early before it dipped to 83-85 in the middle innings. But after his offense gave him the lead with a run in the top of the sixth inning, his velocity ticked back up to 87-88.
“It was definitely a lot of adrenaline, especially in a CIF game,” Glick said before crediting his offseason workouts. “Over the course of the winter, I was working out a lot at Quick’s Baseball Academy. It really helped my stamina. I can credit that with my increased velo in the later innings.”
Less than a year ago, Glick was topping out at 83-84, but he’s added weight to his frame and got stronger and that has resulted in more miles per hour. He also showed a curveball with good depth at 72-73 mph and an 80-81 mph changeup.
Though he only allowed two hits, Glick had to make some big pitches to get out of some jams with Oaks Christian starter Dane Morrow, a Pepperdine commit, throwing up zeroes, as well. The Lions threatened early after Phil Quartararo singled, stole second base and was sacrificed to third base.
In the fourth inning, Oaks Christian got the first two men on when speedy freshman leadoff hitter Rhylan Thomas, a future star, walked and San Diego commit Adam Kerner executed a perfect hit-and-run. Facing the heart of the lineup, Glick made the pitches to escape unscathed.
He got Noah Prewett, another San Diego commit, to chase a high pitch and chop it to second base to start a double play. Then Glick struck out Washington commit Jack Aldrich to strand Thomas at third.
“I just think about making the best pitch I can make, especially in those situations. You can make good pitches with no one on, but if you don't make good pitches with runners on base, maybe after a walk or after an error, then you’re toast.”
There was a special guest in attendance for Glick’s Tuesday start as his potential future head coach John Savage was posted up behind home plate to watch him pitch.
“It means a lot,” Glick said of the UCLA skipper watching. “It definitely gives me a lot of adrenaline, definitely makes me want to go perform to my best ability and be on my game.
“My whole life I’ve wanted to go to UCLA. My family has been UCLA football fans for as long as I can remember, so when I was able to get their attention and get an offer, I jumped on it.“
Glick is looking forward to playing at Jackie Robinson Field in a Bruins uniform, but if he continues to develop, he may face a tough decision next summer as a potential MLB draft pick.
“It’s really surreal,” Glick said of the draft. “People are talking to me about it and it’s been a lifelong dream of mine, but it’s still a long ways away, so I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Other El Toro Prospect Notes:
- Diminutive 2017 OF Kenny Oyama (LMU commit) laid out to make a terrific diving catch in the seventh inning. He was on base multiple times, but got picked off twice. Listed at 5-foot-4, 145 pounds on El Toro's roster, the speedy Oyama will be tough to pitch to in college, especially if he continues to show good plate discipline.
- 2017 2B Josh Zamora (Nevada commit) scored the game's only run. He got hit by a pitch and was sacrificed to second base before scoring on a single to right-centerfield. Zamora showed quick hands while starting El Toro's big double play in the fourth inning. He didn't rush the play, but caught a chopper at nearly shoulder height, shifted his weight and fired to second base all in one fluid motion.