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Foothill League baseball: Ones to chase

League-leading Hart uses seven-run fourth to rout Canyon

Posted: April 21, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 21, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Hart pinch hitter Dayton Provost hits an RBI single in the fourth inning against Canyon on Friday at Canyon High School. The hit scored one of seven runs for Hart in the inning, which led to a 10-2 final tally.

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As they say, good things come to those who wait.

And that’s exactly what happened for the Hart baseball team, as the Indians used a combination of solid at-bats and patience at the plate to score seven runs in the fourth inning of a 10-2 victory over Canyon on Friday afternoon at Canyon High School.

After the Cowboys (6-15 overall, 2-7 Foothill League) had tied the game at one run apiece in the bottom of the third, three of the Indians’ first four batters of the fourth walked, and their first seven batters of the inning came around to score.

Matt Machin broke the tie with a bases-loaded walk off Canyon starter Max Weinstein before Tyler Webb knocked in C.J. Witkowski for the eventual game-winner on a single up the middle.

“We were pretty patient,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella. “Our leadoff guy worked a walk to start the third inning. There’s a lot of ways to win a game. We try to do whatever situation presents itself.”

Prior to the offensive outbreak in the fourth, Canyon held its own with the Foothill League-leading Indians (13-7, 8-1).

The Cowboys had neutralized Hart’s baserunners by throwing out Baggio Saldivar and Westin Fitzpatrick on stolen base attempts and only allowed a run in the second after a line drive by Machin went off the glove of Canyon’s third baseman.

But it was the Cowboys’ inability to knock in runners in scoring position that took them out of the game.

Canyon started two-out rallies to load the bases in both the third and sixth innings, but had to settle for one run both times.

A wild pitch by Hart starting pitcher Zach Hanks in the third led to the first Canyon run, and Jacob King drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth for the Cowboys’ second run.

Canyon knocked Hanks out of the game after just 2 2/3 innings, but reliever Ricky Torres came in and struck out Jason McKenna to end the threat.

“If we’re not going to hit when we need to, it’s going to be tough,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer. “It makes it tough for the pitchers. They don’t have much of a margin of error at all.”

Torres continued to shut down the Cowboys from that point, picking up the win after pitching 2 1/3 innings with one hit allowed and one strikeout.

Hanks allowed two hits and a run in a no decision, and Josh Bendig closed out the game by sitting the Cowboys down in order in the seventh.

“Great job by Torres to throw zeros and establish they aren’t going to get back in the game,” Ozella said.

With the win, Hart held on to its two-game lead over West Ranch and Saugus in second place in the league standings with six games left to play.

“We’ve said this to our guys,” Ozella said. “There’s a lot of ways to win games.”

On Thursday, it was with poise and patience at the plate.

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