SAN JOSE -- St. Francis clearly does not need much offense to win games this season.
Take Friday, for instance.
A defensive miscue by Valley Christian gave the Lancers a third-inning run, and ace left-hander John Gavin made it stand.
The Cal State Fullerton-bound pitcher threw a one-hitter as St. Francis moved a step closer to a West Catholic Athletic League championship with a 1-0 victory at Valley Christian.
The Lancers hold a one-game lead over Archbishop Mitty, a 2-1 winner over St. Ignatius on Friday, with two games remaining.
If both win Tuesday -- Mitty plays host to Valley Christian, St. Francis visits Archbishop Riordan -- the WCAL title will be on the line when Mitty visits St. Francis in a regular-season finale next Friday.
For St. Francis (21-3, 10-2) to maintain its lead, the reigning Central Coast Section Division I champion had to defeat a team that had its own WCAL title aspirations.
Valley Christian, which began the day a game behind St. Francis, got a brilliant performance from pitcher Ben Hughes, who allowed two hits and walked two.
But Gavin, who has yielded only three earned runs in 63 innings this season, was a little better.
"It was a lot of fun, just going out there and competing," said Gavin, who struck out seven. "That's a really good lineup, probably the best in the WCAL, if not CCS. So to go through a day like that, you have to have all your pitches working, and that's what I had today.
"Fastball, change-up, curveball were working pretty well for me. I'm just grateful we got out of here with a 'W.'"
Valley Christian's best scoring threat came in the second inning when Keenan Brigman reached on an error and Theron Kay followed with a single. But a pop out to catcher Tim Susnara and line-drive out that turned into a double play ended the opportunity for the Warriors (18-7, 8-4).
Jeremy Ydens then led off the St. Francis third with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice. He scored when Ryan McSwain's two-out chopper behind the mound led to a throwing error past first base.
"It was a close game, one play here or there that will change a game, one pitch that will change a game, one call," Hughes said. "We're disappointed because we beat ourselves. We didn't play our game. "
For St. Francis, the game was similar to so many others it has played this season. The Lancers improved to 12-2 in games decided by two runs or fewer.
"To be honest with you, the one good part about it is we're comfortable playing in those games because it's been like that all year long," St. Francis coach Mike Oakland said. "It's not like we're freaked out by a tight game.
"Hughes pitched great. He was awesome. But so was John."
Gavin has been sensational all season, but the outing Friday might have been his best.
"He was throwing everything for strikes," Susnara said. "He was really on command. He was just doing his thing."
Archbishop Mitty 2, St. Ignatius 1: CJ Romero kept his team in the WCAL race, pitching into the seventh inning to help the Monarchs (18-5, 9-3) hold off St. Ignatius. Luke Rasmussen had two hits for Mitty, including a home run.
Leigh 6, Willow Glen 3: Kyle Morrison had two hits and scored a run as Leigh (17-5-1, 10-2) completed a sweep of Willow Glen to stay tied with Leland atop the Blossom Valley Athletic League Mount Hamilton Division.
Leland 7, Sobrato 1: Conner DiNaro was the winning pitcher also had two hits and an RBI to lead Leland (17-8, 10-2).