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This makes Friday interesting

Hart knocks off West Ranch to stay in race for third place

Posted: May 13, 2009 9:43 p.m.
Updated: May 14, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Hart High baseball players celebrate Wednesday after the Indians defeated West Ranch 4-2 at Bud Murray Field.

 
Hart baseball added some intrigue to the final day of the Foothill League season with an upset of West Ranch at home Wednesday.

At the same time, the Indians closed out the Wildcats’ hopes of earning its first Foothill League championship.

The Indians rode the arm of Trevor Brown to score a 4-2 win over the Wildcats.

West Ranch entered play last week as the No. 1 team in CIF-Southern Section Division I and has since lost three straight.

The victory meant a Hart win on Friday, coupled with a Saugus loss would clinch third place in the Foothill League and a playoff birth for the Indians.

“Our whole team wanted this win really bad,” Brown said. “For me to go out there and be the starter, I knew that I had to throw strikes and stay ahead of batters and keep us in the game.”

Brown did more than keep the Indians in the game. He tossed three shutout innings to start the contest, while Hart (14-10-1, 8-6) built a 3-0 cushion.

Spenser Souza scored Hart’s first run in the second when he double to lead off the inning and came around to score on a fielder’s choice.

The Indians pushed two more across when their first three batters reached in the third, and an error by West Ranch second baseman Casey Watkins allowed two runs to cross the plate with two outs.

“This is back-to-back starts that Trevor Fredickson pitched well enough to win,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill. “We just haven’t backed him up offensively, which is too bad because he deserved a better fate.”

The Wildcats (19-7, 10-4) rallied for a run in the fourth and the sixth against Brown, but they were never able to come back from the early deficit.

Watkins knocked home West Ranch’s second run in the sixth, but he was cut down after rounding the bag on a successful stolen base attempt with two outs. The Indians nailed the West Ranch second sacker in a run down to end the threat.

“Today was the kind of day we have been looking for,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella. “We did the little things. We played well on the bases and defensively, and we got solid pitching from Brown and (C.J.) Millar.”

After the Indians plated an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, Millar closed down the Wildcats in the seventh with a strikeout of Casey Keller to seal the win.

“C.J. came in and closed things down, and now we know that Friday will be a lot more interesting,” Ozella said. “We still have that chance to sneak in the back door and if we play like we did today, then we know anything can happen.”

kdamore@the-signal.com

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