When Zach Carrell took the mound at Smokey Joe Williams field Wednesday night, he had made the decision that it was going to be his final start. Not the final start for the River Monsters, or for the summer. It was Zach’s final start as a ball player. He will be attending Baylor to get his graduate degree and will be hanging up his cleats as he focuses on his academics and future. But Zach, with his family watching and emotions high, didn’t just take the mound Wednesday, he owned it. Carrell went wire to wire in a dominant complete game victory. 9 innings, 5 hits, 1ER, 7Ks. Retiring 14 straight and fifteen of the first sixteen batters he faced. A storybook ending to a pitcher's career.
Not only was Zach stellar on Wednesday, the River Monsters, desperate for a win as they try to right the ship in the second month of the season, stepped up for their pitcher in a big way. The line up came to life with 14 hits as they jumped on Acadiana in the first inning and kept the foot on the gas all night. Jacob Elizondo (2-5/1RBI/2R) laced a first pitch single to lead off the first inning and came around to score the River Monsters first run of the game. Jimmy Deleon (2-5/1RBI) added a two out single to bring home Jose Gonzalez (2-4/1R/BB) as Seguin took an early 2-0 lead and never looked back. A third inning 2RBI single from Skyler Trevino (3-4/2RBI) plated Rilan Quinones (2-5/2R/RBI) and Jose Gutierrez (1-4/1R) extended their lead 4-0.
After Zachs 14 batter streak was ended to start the 6th, Acadiana managed to scratch across their first run but the River Monsters picked their pitcher up with a 3 spot in the bottom half of the frame. Jacob Elizondo plated David Lopez (1-3/R/BB) with his second single of the night and then came home to score from 1st base on Rilan Quinones double down the left field line.
Zach, even keeled and cool as the other side of the pillow all night, lived in the zone and worked quick efficient innings which allowed him to continue to head back out to the mound for all 9 innings. His breaking pitches were keeping batters off balance all night and Zach’s fastball was live and painting the corners. The defense behind Zach was great all night. Elizondo made some nice plays early at short showing off the range and the arm. He also was the ‘6’ with a smooth turn on a huge 1-6-3 double play started by Zach in the top of the 9th. Zach ended things as he induced a routine fly ball to center field that Rey Mendoza settled under and caught to end the game.
As River Monster teammate surrounded Zach on the mound to celebrate his complete game win he was doused in a much earned surprise water cooler bath out on the field to not only cap off a gem of an outing, but a great baseball career by a great young man. A final start you couldn't script much better and a win the River Monsters so badly needed.