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Foothill League baseball: Sprinting and finishing

Hart uses strong baserunning to run away from Canyon and improve to 2-0 in league play

Posted: March 17, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 17, 2012 1:55 a.m.

There was little doubt which team was the aggressor on Friday afternoon at Canyon High School in a game between Hart and Canyon.

The Indians were aggressive at the plate and on the base paths, scoring three runs in the first en route to a 9-2 victory.

Hart’s Cody Miller, Nick Valaika and Westin Fitzpatrick knocked in runs in the first to give Hart (5-4 overall, 2-0 Foothill League) an early lead.

Valaika added another RBI on a double in the third to give Hart a 4-0 lead.

The game turned into a track meet at times on the basepaths, with runners breaking from first with regularity.

“We got after it early, tried to be aggressive on the basepaths,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella. “We can run, so let’s run.”

And run they did.

“They ran all over us today,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer. “They had their way with us.”

The aggressiveness led Canyon (2-7, 0-2) to replace starting pitcher Max Weinstein after just 1 1/3 innings.

Weinstein allowed three runs on four hits before being relieved by Justin Stark.

Stark allowed 11 hits and six runs in the contest.

Hart countered with Caleb Bae, who picked up the win, pitching four innings and allowing three hits and one run with a strike out.

“That was Caleb’s first start,” Ozella said. “He was very good for us. That’s what we want is solid outings from the starters.”

Canyon tried to climb back in the game, scratching across runs on RBIs by Chris Serrano in the fourth and Kevin Morrice in the fifth to cut the Indians’ lead to 6-2 after five.

But in the end, it was the lack of aggressiveness from Canyon that kept it from completing a comeback after Hart struck early.

“That’s the thing,” Schulhofer said. “If we’re swinging the bats aggressively, three runs is not something you can’t (come back from). But when you’re not getting after it, three runs seems like 10.”

Hart will look to keep its aggressive nature going when it hosts Valencia on Tuesday.

Canyon will travel to Saugus, as it looks to pick up its first win in league play.


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