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Hart baseball alone on top of league

Posted: May 9, 2014 10:01 p.m.
Updated: May 9, 2014 10:01 p.m.

Hart's Nick Valaika hits a solo home run in the third inning against Golden Valley on Friday at Golden Valley High School.

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The Hart Indians weren’t about to give the Golden Valley Grizzlies another chance to ruin their Foothill League title chances.

After holding off Golden Valley earlier in the week, the Indians completed the season sweep over the Grizzlies with a 7-3 win Friday at Golden Valley.

With the victory, and West Ranch’s 4-3 win over Saugus, the Indians sit alone in first place of the Foothill League with two games remaining.

“I thought it was a good game and we came out pretty good offensively,” said Hart junior outfielder Dayton Provost, who went 3-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs, two runs and two stolen bases. “We got after them early and put some hits together.”

After jumping in front 7-1 against the Grizzlies on Wednesday, Hart (19-4-1 overall, 10-3 Foothill League) withstood a Golden Valley comeback to win 7-6.

But Friday was less of a nail-biter.

Three Indians had multi-hit days including, Provost, Colby Kaneshiro and Wes Fitzpatrick, who both finished 2-for-3 with a run scored.

Nick Valaika chipped in with a solo home run en route to a 1-for-3 effort with two runs scored for Hart.

Starting pitcher Paul Richan picked up the win, as he allowed one unearned run on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts over his six innings of work.

“For (Richan) it’s location, location, location,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella. “And when he can hit the spots that he wants to hit with all three pitches, he’s a really tough pitcher. It’s all about command.”

Richan stranded five Grizzlies in scoring position, including two in both the second and fourth innings.

In total, Golden Valley (4-21, 0-13) left seven runners on base.

“Again, I wouldn’t mind catching a break,” said Golden Valley head coach Gino Pomilia. “We hit shots to people, (but) they made two diving catches. It’s part of the game, but sometimes I’d rather be lucky than good.”

Cody Rightmyer finished 1-for-3 with an RBI and a steal, and Chris Pacheco went 1-for-2 with a run for the Grizzlies.

Golden Valley will have two opportunities to capture its first Foothill League victory of the season next week against Valencia, while the Indians finish the regular season against Saugus.

Hart controls its own destiny down the stretch, and could clinch its first Foothill League championship since 2008 with two wins against the Centurions.


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