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Foothill League baseball: Canyon snaps two-year slide

Pitching gem leads to Cowboys’ first league win since ’08

Posted: April 28, 2010 9:51 p.m.
Updated: April 29, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
The Canyon baseball team snapped its 24-game Foothill League losing streak by finally put together a complete game in a 2-0 victory over Hart Wednesday afternoon at Hart High.

It was the first league victory since a season-ending win over Golden Valley in 2008 for the Cowboys (5-15-1, 1-9), who got a one-hit gem from starting pitcher Icezack Flemming.

They also managed a good offensive outing to back their pitching.

“We were just waiting to put everything together,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer. “We got some hits, got some outs and got some great pitching.”

As simple as that sounds, it was something that Canyon just hadn’t quite been able to do.

But Wednesday afternoon, the team turned it around — and it all started with the defense.

With the Cowboys committing just two errors on the day, Flemming was able to relax and handcuff the Indians (11-10, 5-5) en route to a complete-game win, his first shutout of the year.

“I knew my defense had my back and if you have confidence in your defense it really helps,” Flemming said. “And my pitches felt great.”

After allowing an infield single in the second inning to Kevin Bailey, Flemming worked through the order two more times and never let Hart get a rhythm.

Flemming finished the afternoon with seven strikeouts, two walks and allowing no runs.

“I felt Flemming pitched a great game. You have to hit to win and do the little things to be successful and we didn’t,” said Hart’s acting head coach Jerry Miller. “But give credit to (Flemming). He pitched great and kept us off balance all game long.”

Miller was filling in for head coach Jim Ozella, who was serving a one-game suspension after getting ejected in the Indians’ victory over Saugus last Friday.

However, Miller said Ozella’s absence wasn’t the reason Hart lost.

“Having a team is a giant puzzle and obviously he is the biggest piece of the puzzle,” Miller said. “But he prepares his players and coaches so well, so (not having him) had nothing to do with why we lost. Flemming just pitched a great game.”

While Flemming was holding the Indians down, the Canyon offense finally got some hits. In fact, it got two in a row with two outs in the fourth inning to give Flemming all the run support he would need.

After Adam Evans singled to right, Thomas Kratky laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Evans into scoring position. Back-to-back singles from Alex Banta and Patrick Roxbury gave the Cowboys a 1-0 lead.

Canyon would tack on an insurance run in the sixth thanks to an Indian error and a Kratky RBI groundout.

“Getting the key hits, two base hits with two outs, that’s rare for us,” Schulhofer said. “Then they helped out with the second run, but we put the ball on the ground and drove him in.”

The two teams will meet again on Friday at Canyon High with two different mindsets.

“I hope (we can bounce back). That is the true character of a team is how they bounce back,” Miller said. “I think we have that character, but it will be a test for sure.”

For Canyon, the formula on Friday is pretty simple according to Schulhofer.

“Hopefully we can repeat this on Friday,” he said.

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