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Hart baseball stays in Foothill League lead

Posted: April 18, 2014 10:11 p.m.
Updated: April 18, 2014 10:11 p.m.

 

In its first two wins against the Canyon Cowboys this season, the Hart Indians scored a total of five runs.

But in the series finale, Hart matched that total in the first inning.

En route to a 7-2 victory, the Indians used early run production to jump ahead of Canyon and complete the season sweep over Cowboys Friday at Canyon High.

“I thought we did a good job at the plate today,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella, whose team set a Foothill League season-high in runs scored. “Everybody had good at-bats.”

Hart is 15-2-1 overall and 6-1 in the Foothill League.

Back-to-back doubles in the gap by Hart’s Pearson Good and Wes Fitzpatrick capped a five-run first inning, which gave Jack Ralston, the Foothill League’s best pitcher thus far, plenty of run support before he stepped on the rubber.

Though he battled command issues in the beginning, Ralston picked up the win, as he allowed two hits and two runs — one earned — over his five innings of work.

The 6-foot-5 right-hander finished with two strikeouts and four walks, but stranded seven Canyon runners on the basepaths.

“I didn’t have all my best stuff with me today,” said Ralston, who is 3-0 in three Foothill League starts. “I was a little shaky. But I had to keep trying to throw strikes, keep the ball in the zone, and let them get themselves out.”

Following a solo home run to Vincent Fitzgerald in the bottom of the first, Canyon drew three walks to load the bases.

But Ralston dialed in and got Blake Leidholdt to fly out to center field to avoid any serious damage.

The Cowboys (6-11-1, 1-6) had another good scoring opportunity in the fourth inning, as they had runners on first and second with one out.

But Ralston again showed his ability to pitch out of trouble by getting Fitzgerald to ground into a double play and maintain Hart’s 5-2 lead.

“That’s baseball. Got to get the key hit,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer. “Get a few of those and the outcome is a little different.”

In total, Canyon left nine runners on base — six in scoring position.

Christopher Jenkins finished 3-for-3 for the Cowboys, while Fitzgerald went 1-for-4, including his fourth home run of the season.

Hart’s Cody Miller extended his hitting streak to seven games, as he went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.

Dayton Provost was 2-for-4 from the plate with a solo home run and two runs scored.

With the win, Hart preserved its one-game lead over Valencia and Saugus for first place in the Foothill League.

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