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Pharis one-hits Vikings

by MARK NELKE
Sports Editor | April 17, 2010 9:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - Prior to Friday's matchup with rival Coeur d'Alene High, senior left-hander Ben Pharis of Lake City hadn't pitched since throwing five innings vs. Lewiston in the Timberwolves' season opener on March 13.

He was starting to wonder when he would get back on the hill again, but as it turned out, Timberwolves coach Al Bevacqua had a plan.

It turned out to be a good one. Pharis, pitching essentially on 33 days' rest, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and finished with a one-hitter as Lake City beat visiting Coeur d'Alene 3-0 in 5A Inland Empire League baseball.

"We're trying to find a rotation, and keeping him healthy," said Bevacqua, who has a deep pitching staff. "That's been our game plan. He's going to be one of the end-of-the-year guys. When we have nine pitchers ... it's tough to get guys innings when they're doing as well as they are."

"I was looking at this (game); it would be the first time Coeur d'Alene had seen him," Bevacqua added. "I know he takes things personal, so he's a good guy to have on the mound. There was a little game-planning going on there. I wanted to hide him as much as I can, because we've been working on stuff with him."

Pharis, Lake City's regular center fielder, got the word Monday that he would be facing the Vikings on Friday. He struck out eight, walked three and hit one. He walked the leadoff hitter, then retired the next 11 batters before cleanup hitter Ryan Dunton reached on an error in the fifth.

With two out in the sixth, Drew Turbin broke up the no-hitter with a soft infield single to shortstop, the lefty hitting Turbin beating the throw to first from shortstop Mitch Bevacqua.

Pharis said his fastball and curveball were working for him most of the game.

"I didn't really throw my changeup there until the sixth and seventh inning," Pharis said. "I saved that pitch for the later innings so I could keep them off balance. What was important for me was getting ahead in the count; that first-pitch strike kept the momentum on our side the whole game."

Two days earlier, Coeur d'Alene (11-6, 3-2 5A IEL) beat Lake City (8-6, 3-3), 7-6 in the first of four meetings during the regular season.

"Pharis did a great job with his changeup, and we couldn't make adjustments," Coeur d'Alene coach Nick Rook said. "They beat us at the plate, they beat us on the bases, they beat us defensively. They did a good job."

Grant Curtis' RBI single in the third put Lake City up 1-0.

In the fifth, Christian Mayfield was hit by a pitch, was sacrificed to second by Pharis, and scored on a single by Mort, who went 3 for 3. Jason Pattis singled, putting runners at first and third. Pattis took off for second, coaxing Coeur d'Alene pitcher Derek Priano into a balk, and Mort scored.

"We have to do anything we can to steal a run," Bevacqua said. "Putting guys in motion like we did to get a balk call, those are the little things we have to do to compete with a team like that."

Both teams have makeup games on Monday. Coeur d'Alene plays host to Post Falls, and Lake City is home vs. Lakeland.

Coeur d'Alene plays at Lake City on Tuesday. The two teams then play May 5 at 6 p.m. at McEuen Field in the "Homeruns 4 Homeless" game, a benefit game for the homeless which includes a food drive, clothing drive, a 50/50 raffle, direct donations and a sponsorship for each home run hit in the game. Information: 277-4388

Coeur d'Alene 000 000 0 - 0 1 2

Lake City 001 020 x - 3 7 1

Derek Priano, Colin Comack (6) and Devon Austin; Ben Pharis and Bryce Mort. W - Pharis (1-0). L - Priano (1-1).

HITS: Cd'A - Turbin. LC - Pharis, Mort 3, Pattis, Bevacqua, Truscello.

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