SANTA CRUZ -- After Scotts Valley High baseball jumped into sole possession of first place in league with a key win last week, pitcher Shane Carle said the Falcons officially had a target on their backs for the remainder of the season.
Unfortunately, he was right. Harbor's youth-laden squad gave the visiting Falcons all they could handle Tuesday, before Scotts Valley rallied over the final four innings to secure a 9-6 win in Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League play.
Brett Levy singled home teammate Erik Bagley with the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, when Scotts Valley scored four times and sent 10 batters to the plate.
"We knew we couldn't take anyone lightly," Levy said. "Nonetheless, we came out flat. But we know, up and down the lineup, we can get it done."
With the win, the defending SCCAL-champion Falcons improve to 16-7 overall, 8-1 in league, good for a half-game lead on Aptos [15-6, 8-2]. Scotts Valley has three SCCAL games remaining. Aptos has two, as does Harbor, which falls to 12-11, 3-7 in league.
"We played as good as we could and let it slip through our hands at the end there," said Pirates outfielder Jalen Cahill, who had two hits, including a triple, stole two bases, drove in a run and scored three times.
The Falcons were held scoreless by Harbor sophomore pitcher Kyle Kingdom over the first three innings. The Pirates were also aggressive on the base paths and made good on two Falcons errors to jump to a 3-0 lead.
Scotts Valley chased Kingdom from the game with a three-run fifth inning and got the offense going against freshman reliever Riley James, who took the loss after the Pirates tied the score 6-6 in the sixth inning.
Carle, who was on the mound Tuesday, helped his cause with a two-run home run in the fourth. He also singled and was intentionally walked to finish 2-for-3 with three runs scored.
Carle struggled to keep his pitches down early in the game and his defense wasn't helping him out much. But as the game went on, the Falcons regrouped.
"Shane got stronger as the game went on," said Falcons coach Buddy Carrigan. "He was throwing in the high 80s at the end. I think he may have even hit 90 on one of those pitches [in the seventh]. Our defense was weak at first, and that's uncharacteristic for us. Our kids never quit, but we have to come out ready."
Shane recorded all three outs in the seventh by strikeout. He finished with four strikeouts with one walk and three hit batters.
Senior Garret Beyers, freshman catcher Calvin Nakagawa and freshman pinch runner Abel Lopez also scored runs for the aggressive Pirates, who finished with four stolen bases.
"We had to be [aggressive]," said Pirates coach Joseph Allegri. "That's the only way we can beat that kind of team. ... I'm very proud of our kids. They competed and that's all I can ask of them."
Taylor Toccalino scored twice for the Falcons, who also got a run from Levy, Scott Dreier, Kyle McReynolds and Troy Kato.
The Falcons play at Soquel [11-6-1, 4-4] on Friday at 4 p.m.
Harbor takes on Pajaro Valley [2-10] in a nonleague game at Watsonville High on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Scotts Valley 9, Harbor 6
Scotts Valley 000-231-4 -- 9-7-2
Harbor 120-102-0 -- 6-7-2
W -- Shane Carle (4-1), CG, 4K, BB, 3HBP. L -- Riley James (4-5), 3IP.
Highlights -- Scotts Valley: Erik Bagley, HBP, R; Taylor Toccalino, 1-for-3, BB, 2R, RBI; Brett Levy, 1-for-4, R, RBI; Shane Carle, 2-for-3, IBB, SB, two-run HR (4), 2 RBIs, 3R; Scott Dreier, 1-for-3, BB, R; Kyle McReynolds, 1-for-2, BB, RBI, R; Troy Kato, 1-for-4, R, 2 RBIs. Harbor: Vince Dempewolf, 1-for-4; Garrett Beyers, 1-for-4, SB, R; Tanner Richie, 1-for-4; Calvin Nakagawa, 1-for-3, 2B, HBP, R; Abel Lopez, R; Jalen Cahill, 2-for-2, 3B, BB, 2SBs, 3R, RBI; Ozzy Hall, HBP, 1-for-1, 2 RBIs, SB, HBP.
Records -- Scotts Valley 16-7, 8-1; Harbor 12-11, 3-7.