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Foothill baseball: Hart settles for second

Indians go into postseason on win streak

Posted: May 14, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 14, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Hart High baseball players congratulate each other after getting out of the second inning Friday at Hart High.

 

Some people thought the Hart baseball team was more likely to compete for third place in the Foothill League than a league title.

Not only did the Indians finish one game out of first, they'll carry a three-game winning streak into the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.

Senior pitcher Garrett Gooding gave Hart another strong outing and first baseman Alex Tenorio recorded a pair of key RBIs to beat Golden Valley 4-1 on Friday at Hart High School.

"Hype doesn't matter," Tenorio said. "It's all talk until you hit the field."

The Indians (20-6, 11-4) took second place behind Valencia, while West Ranch finished third, Canyon wound up fourth and Golden Valley and Saugus tied for fifth.

The top three teams are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. The Grizzlies (13-12, 4-11), the only other team with a CIF-required winning record, plan to apply for an at-large bid, said Golden Valley head coach Scott Drootin.

"We hope so," Drootin said of receiving a playoff berth. "(Hart was) No. 5 or 6 in CIF, and we battled with them today."

Hart left nine runners on base to the Grizzlies' seven.

With Gooding dueling a combination of starter Joey Anderson and Scotty Barlow, hits became increasingly difficult to come by.

Luckily for the Indians, they got the crucial ones in early.

Hart jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning thanks to RBI singles by Tenorio, Luke Persico and Baggio Saldivar.

"We wanted to get some support for Garrett, because every time he gets support, he shuts them down," Tenorio said.

Gooding had to navigate several jams, including a four-hit third inning. In the frame, Golden Valley's Anthony San Miguel drove in his team's only run on a bloop single to center field, making the score 3-1.

Two batters later, Gooding forced Billy Frederick to ground out to first, ending the danger.

"The difference in this game was execution," Drootin said. "If we make the playoffs, we've got to score."

Anderson, who had been solid since the first inning, was replaced by Barlow after surrendering a first-pitch double to Steve Rosso in the fourth.

Two outs, a hit batter and a walk later, Tenorio drew a bases-loaded walk that plated the game's final run.

Bobby Stafford threw a perfect seventh inning to earn the save and secure his team's 20th win of the season.

That last time Hart won 20 games was in 2008.

"We did a good job this year of competing," said Indians head coach Jim Ozella. "We really had very few games where we were not in it every pitch. It's a testament to a great group of leaders, seniors and a great group of guys that I think were very motivated."

Rosso batted 2-for-3 with two doubles.

Gooding threw six innings with six strikeouts and one earned run on eight hits.

Anderson pitched three innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits and one walk. Barlow tossed the other three, striking out four with two hits and two walks.

San Miguel was 3-for-3 for the Grizzlies, and Ryan Alvarez was 3-for-4.

Both teams now await Monday's announcement from the CIF-SS to find out who and if they play in the postseason.

"Everyone stepped up. It's not a single player," said Gooding of the season. "Now, we've got a three-game winning streak and go into the playoffs on a roll. We're ready to do some business."

 

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