Padilla Twirls Gem; Tolbert Thrives on Opposite-Field Drives

By Andrew Bensch

Juniors Robert Padilla and Alex Tolbert led the charge for Wilcox on Monday afternoon. Padilla twirled another six shutout innings and Tolbert drove in two of the first three Chargers’ runs in an eventual 4-0 shutout win over Cupertino. The six shutout innings from Padilla were his second start of league season allowing zero runs. Back on March 16 the junior finished off a complete-game shutout over Milpitas.

“He did what he usually does,” remarked Chargers Head Coach David Currie on his starting pitcher. “He threw strikes, moved the ball in and out, he has a little deception to his fastball. It kind of gets up on you quick. He throws two other pitches for strikes, the curve and the slider.”

“My cut fastball was working today for sure,” recalled Padilla. “I got a lot of people chasing it today.”


The offensive support for Padilla got rolling in the second inning. Right fielder Nick Malvini drew a leadoff walk, setting the table for Tolbert, the Chargers’ designated hitter. After working the count and fouling off a couple pitches, the right-handed hitter got an outside fastball and drove it down the right-field line. Cupertino was playing Tolbert to pull, and so the ball was hit away from the defense. Malvini would score from first and Tolbert chugged all the way into third for a triple. Tolbert would later add a well-struck sacrifice fly to right-field in the fifth inning, extending the lead to 3-0.

“Both of his RBI at bats were phenomenal,” chimed coach Currie on Tolbert’s performance at the dish. “That is what you wanna do against a lefty, try to stay back and take it the other way. That was a great job, he hit that ball hard to right, stretches it out and gets a triple. That was basically two runs for us, he knocks in one and then he gets to third base with less than two outs, eventually coming into score himself. Then his sacrifice fly, that was a tough two-strike at bat. Driving in two runs with two strikes that’s pretty good.”

“Last game Cupertino seemed to be throwing me lots of outside fastballs. I had two strikes on me and I got the fastball outside again and just drove it that way,” commented Tolbert on his triple. “I was a bit surprised they were throwing me outside and playing me to pull, so I just tried to take it that way and hopefully hit it where they weren’t.”

Third baseman Alex Adame would add a line-drive RBI double in the bottom of the sixth to cap the scoring. The left-handed batter drove an outside fastball into the opposite-field gap in left center. It was a meaningful insurance run as the Pioneers would strand the bases loaded in the top of the seventh.

With the victory, Wilcox improves to 5-3 in league. This week they will take on Los Altos in a two-game series starting Wednesday, April 11 and ending Friday, April 13.