ROCKVILLE — Pitching, defense, hitting.
When all three of those work at the same time, things tend to go your way.
They did Saturday for the Solano Community College baseball team as the Falcons got a Bay Valley Conference shutout of visiting Napa Valley College, 7-0, at Billy and Louise Yarbrough Stadium.
Anthony Pezzola extended his scoreless innings streak to 17 innings with a solid eight-frame outing, scattering six hits, striking out two and walking two.
Kyle Stafford pitched the ninth and gave up a pair of hits, but stranded both runners, inducing a harmless fly ball to right field to end it.
Only two Storm runners reached scoring position all afternoon.
“We could have (gone for a second straight complete game), but A, we wanted to get some guys work and B, we don’t want to have him go over a hundred pitches two weeks in a row, so we kept him under a hundred, which is good,” Solano coach Scott Stover said.
Pezzola was efficient with his 93 pitches, going deep into an inning just once, throwing 19 in the third.
Stover said that’s just where he wants to be with hits pitching.
“It is, especially with the way him and (Ryan) Anderson are throwing the ball right now,” the coach said. “Hopefully we’ll get (Nick) Driscoll started. We’ll start Driscoll on Tuesday. He had two good starts to start the season, then he kind of struggled a little bit.”
After going down in order in the first inning, Solano (12-6, 6-2 BVC) jumped on Napa starter Brandon Maio for a pair of runs in the second.
Alex Crosby led off with an infield hit and he advanced to second on a throw in the dirt by shortstop Christian Gazdar.
Tucker Bishop reached on a bunt down the third base line and Justin Quilatan was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs for Nick Spini.
The Falcons’ designated hitter lifted a 2-0 pitch into deep left field for a sacrifice fly and a 1-0 lead.
Jordan Tolbert dropped a sac bunt to move the runners over and Edgar Ibarra lifted a single into right field to score Bishop. Quilatan was thrown out at the plate to end the threat.
Solano added four in the third as Maio hit Aaron Brasher with a pitch and walked Crosby to set up Bishop’s two-run double to left.
Quilatan singled home Bishop and Spini ripped a double to the wall in left to plate Quilatan. Spini took third on the throw, but was left standing there when Tolbert grounded out to the mound.
The Falcons added one more run in the sixth off Napa reliever Joey Evans.
Ibarra drew a one-out walk and David Fernandez singled him over.
With Brasher at the plate, a double steal attempt ended with Ibarra thrown out at third and Fernandez on second.
Brasher drew a walk and Zach Welz looped a base hit into shallow left to score Fernandez and make it a 7-0 game.
If there was anything to concern Stover, it was the quality of the late at-bats.
“We kind of sat on it. Any time any relievers come in at the JC level – even the four-year level – at the end of the week, you want to make sure you have good at-bats off guys who aren’t as good,” Stover said. “Although the reliever they brought in actually did pretty good keeping the ball down, but we still want to have better at-bats off the relievers and make adjustments early because you’re not going to see a reliever two times around.”
The Falcons hope to keep a strong March going when they visit Contra Costa on Tuesday.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.