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Hart, Valencia fall in quarters...

Miscues doom frustrated Indians

Posted: May 24, 2008 2:48 a.m.
Updated: July 25, 2008 5:04 a.m.

Members of Hart's baseball team watch as their season ends on Friday against Long Beach Wilson. The Indians lost in the CIF quarterfinal contest, 4-2, to the Bruins.

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All season, Hart pitcher Michael Montgomery has proved that he has the mental strength to overcome any battle he faces on the mound.

Unfortunately for Montgomery and the Indians team, Friday's battle proved to be too much.

Montgomery and the usually steady Hart defense faltered, allowing four runs to score in the first two innings, sealing the fate of the senior as the team lost to Long Beach Wilson 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.

This was the fifth quarterfinal loss for the Indian's since 1982.

Montgomery walked the Bruins lead-off batter, starting pitcher Aaron Hicks, who eventually scored on a single. A Montgomery balk advanced a runner to second who then came home on a double.

"I just found my rhythm too late," Montgomery said. "The first two innings I just didn't have it."

In the second, another balk by Montgomery and an RBI single by Zach Wilson gave the Bruins a 4-0 advantage.

Despite the loss, Montgomery pitched his first complete game of the season, allowing five hits and striking out six.

Offensively, the Indians had no answer for Hicks, who dominated for the Bruins (27-5-1) with an unruly breaking ball. Hicks held the Indians to only four hits.

However, Hart came to life in the sixth. Danny Susdorf was hit by a pitch and Devin Rodriguez singled to center. Trevor Matern then belted a line drive single to center and advanced to second on an error, bringing in Susdorf for the Indians first run of the game.
Rodriguez then scored a wild pitch.

But it was too little too late for the Indians, who ended their season at 23-7.

"When you're playing an outstanding team like this, you can't get yourself in a hole; and we got ourselves in a hole and it kind of came back to haunt us." said Hart head coach Jim Ozella.

For Montgomery, this may be the end of his high school career but he still has a lot to focus on in his future.

He has signed a letter of intent to play at Cal State Fullerton, but there is also the Major League baseball draft where he's projected to go in the first three rounds. Even after a tough loss, an emotional Montgomery still applauded the efforts of his teammates and looked back on the season fondly.

"I'm really proud of this team," he said. "We gave a lot of heart and we never gave up. I really wanted to go all the way, but sometimes it's just not meant to be."

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