Trinity baseball takes down Castaic 

Trinity pitcher John Carlson (31) pitches during the fourth inning of Thursday's game against Castaic on Feb. 29. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
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Trinity baseball brothers John and Andrew Carlson have been playing baseball together as long as they can remember.  

The brothers have been integral to the Knights’ hot start and shined as Trinity took down the Castaic Coyotes on Thursday. 

John, a junior, kept the Coyote offense in check with an impressive performance on the bump, while his freshman brother, who started at catcher, shined at the plate. 

Trinity won the non-league road battle, 6-2, behind an all-around team win for the undefeated Knights (6-0). 

Trinity catcher Andrew Carlson (9) runs to third base during the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against Castaic. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

The freshman Carlson set the tone right away in the game with a first-inning two-out home run. Andrew smashed the ball deep but a little outside the line but a friendly breeze carried the ball as it smacked the top of the foul pole. 

“I had a bad game this week so I just tried to stay happy, get a barrel to the ball and it just happened to go out,” Andrew said. 
The catcher was on base nearly more than he was in the dugout and John has known for years how dangerous of a bat his brother has. 

“It’s been a great, awesome time playing with him, especially in the backyard,” John said. “When I was younger, we would play two-on-two with our other siblings and I would intentionally walk my brother to get to my sister and make sure I’m winning.” 
Andrew could not be stopped at the plate and finished the game 4-for-4, with some solid base running and work behind the plate. 

“It’s great because he’s a junior so I get to play with him for two years,” Andrew said. “We’re just in our backyard, pitching and catching each other. So, I already know what he throws, what’s coming and how he throws.” 

Trinity first baseman Luke Backes (44) bats during the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against Castaic. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

Trinity first baseman Luke Backes kept the scoring going in the third inning and pushed the lead to 3-0 with a deep RBI double to center field. 

Backes finished the day 2-for-3 with three RBI. 

Castaic (3-4) answered in the fourth inning as the team registered three straight hits on the pitcher Carlson. 

Coyotes junior Dominic Espinoza hit an RBI single to bring in the first run before a wild pitch scored another Castaic run. 

Carlson had retired seven straight before the inning but quickly rebounded and dominated the remainder of the game.  

The Trinity ace shut down his final 10 batters of the day to secure the victory. Carlson finished the complete game with three hits, two runs and five strikeouts.  

“We knew that they were going to come out swinging,” John said. “We knew that they were looking for a bunch of fast balls and that we had to play some good defense. So, I executed with the slider and got a bunch of rollovers, and the team played outstanding defense behind me. I’m super thankful for that.” 

Trinity coach Trevor Brown has consistently been impressed with his two Carlsons this season but still saw a total team win on Thursday. 

“It was a truly special performance between the two of them,” Brown said. “John obviously threw a phenomenal game and Andrew locked it down behind the plate and he had four hits. Talk about a starting battery really putting the team on their back. It was really cool to watch them. And the whole environment of this game, I think we came in as an underdog. We knew this game was gonna be a test for us and I’m really proud of how not only the two of them rose up to the occasion, but really the whole team. We had support from the entire group and it was really cool to watch and to be a part of.” 

Trinity shortstop Jordan Lovelace (1) runs home during the seventh inning of Thursday’s game against Castaic on Feb. 29. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

Knights leadoff man Jordan Lovelace rocketed home on a wild pitch in the seventh inning, before Backes brought in his catcher Andrew, to reach the final score of 6-2. 

Castaic has struggled against some tough competition this season but still has the makings of a league contender.  

Castaic senior Tyler Hawn (4) pitches during the third inning of Thursday’s game against Trinity on Feb. 29. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

The team graduated the bulk of its CIF championship team but has filled in some holes with talented young players. Senior Tyler Hawn, who pitched the team to victory in the CIF title game last season, returns for Castaic. The Knights got the better of Hawn on Thursday, but Castaic coach Darrell Davis knows his ace and team will bounce back. 

“We got beat today,” Davis said. “They came to play and they had a pitcher who was really good. He kept us off balance. They have a couple guys who can swing the bat pretty well. Trevor does a great job over there, so we just have to get ready for league.” 

Trinity also graduated the bulk of the lineup last season, leaving a ton of big shoes to fill. Brown has seen his squad, which rosters 13 underclassmen, come together early on in the year. 

“We’re really just meshing as a team,” Brown said. “Even the guys that are not in the starting lineup are on the fence. We have 22 guys, and I think it’s a 22-man effort. That’s what we feel like we’re doing and that’s how we’re approaching the games. We’re just executing the things that we’re working on and when it comes down to it, we’re just doing a really good job executing.” 

John Carlson believes the newfound pitching depth has been one of the biggest reasons for Trinity’s success early in this season. John, Andrew, Heritage League Defensive Player of the Year Noah Visconti and freshman lefty Maddox Rice have combined to allow just six runs so far this season. 

The four pitchers combined with a dangerous lineup have the Knights ready to compete in a season they hope to extend deep into May. 

“I always play for a CIF title,” John said. “We’ve got a good shot at it. We got moved up into a higher division so that was kind of cool that we’re proving our worth and coming out and beating this really outstanding Castaic team, who obviously won the CIF title last year. Coming out here and beating them, really shows that we truly have what it takes to do something great this year.” 

Both teams return to action next week. Trinity will look to continue its hot start against YULA High School of Los Angeles back at home at 3:15 p.m. while Castaic opens up league play on Wednesday at West Ranch at 3:30 p.m. 

Castaic senior Jack Teoli (8) slides into home plate during the fourth inning of Thursday’s game against Trinity on Feb. 29. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
Castaic junior Jayden Broderick (14) bats during the third inning of Thursday’s game against Trinity on Feb. 29. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

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