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It all comes down to math

Hart needs to win and get help for a guaranteed spot in postseason

Posted: May 8, 2009 11:08 p.m.
Updated: May 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
It appears as if there will be a wild-card round to this season’s CIF-Southern Section Division I baseball playoffs.

Hart hopes it won’t have to worry about that.

The Indians defeated Canyon 8-2 Friday at Bud Murray Field, sweeping the season series between the two teams.

Now comes the mathematics.

The Indians need to defeat slumping West Ranch twice next week and hope Valencia beats Foothill league third-place Saugus two times.

That would put the Indians, who won two of three from Saugus this season, in third place, guaranteeing the Indians a 23rd consecutive trip to the postseason.

“If this group is not motivated I couldn’t call them competitors,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella.

Hart’s pitchers were the gritty ones Friday.

In the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, the Indians (13-10-1, 7-6) pulled themselves out of two-on jams.

Hart starter Garrett Gooding survived a fourth inning in which his defense failed him.

He gave up two unearned runs after two Hart errors, then stranded Canyon baserunners on first and second base.

“We can be in a game, then we shut down,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer.

The Cowboys (2-22, 0-13) left eight runners on base in the game and took advantage of the two Hart errors in the fourth, but not the other three Indians miscues.

Hart’s Josh Wagner came in the game in the fifth and overcame two errors to get out of the inning.

Back-to-back singles by Icezack Fleming and Chili Viall then a wild pitch put Canyon runners on second and third in the sixth.

But Wagner struck out the final two batters of the inning, ending Canyon’s final threat.

“I think our pitching definitely (bailed us out),” said Hart catcher Trevor Brown.

Hart got on the board with a Devin Rodriguez RBI-single in the first inning.

The Indians added three more in the second with an RBI-single from Patrick Valaika and a two-RBI double from Brown.

After Canyon cut the lead to 4-2 in the fourth, the Indians answered with an RBI-triple off the bat of Nolan Simons and a run-scoring single from Brown.

Brown was 3-for-3 on the day with three RBIs.

Spenser Souza and C.J. Millar then swatted back-to-back solo home runs in the fifth to put Hart up 8-2.

Souza’s homer was his eighth on the season.

Gooding went four innings, striking out three, walking three and surrendering three hits.

Canyon starter Garrett Hayes went the distance, allowing 11 hits and eight earned runs, striking out seven.

The goal for Canyon next week is getting a win in Foothill play.

The Cowboys face fifth-place Golden valley twice.

cosborne@the-signal.com

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