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Hart's win causes Foothill fluctuation

League-leading West Ranch gets upset by Hart

Posted: May 1, 2013 10:58 p.m.
Updated: May 1, 2013 10:58 p.m.
 

This Foothill League continues to be the wackiest in one respect and the most competitive in another respect in recent memory.

Proof?

Hart, a team that has seen more ups than downs, most recently being no-hit by Valencia last Friday, defeated first-place West Ranch 3-2 on Wednesday at Hart High School.

The Indians, clinging to the slim hopes of making a 27th straight appearance in the CIF-Southern Section postseason, got a third straight stellar Foothill League outing out of Chad Haslock, as he allowed just one West Ranch hit in 6 1/3 innings, while striking out three and walking five.

Haslock went 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs in the Indians’ walk-off victory against Valencia on April 24.

“He’s been very good for us. It’s three straight starts he’s pitched well. … He’s really stabilized us,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella.

Haslock, though, couldn’t finish off the Wildcats.

He took the fifth-place Indians (9-14 overall, 5-7 Foothill League) into the top of the seventh inning with a 3-0 lead and a no-hitter going, but surrendered a leadoff single to Kyle McGraw.

Haslock then walked Jake Spurlin, got an out, then hit Nick Ruffino with a pitch to load the bases.

He then hit Jagger Rusconi with a pitch to force in a run.

With the bases still loaded, Hart brought in Josh Randall, who immediately induced a fielder’s choice out off the bat of Tony Slauson.

A run scored on the play to cut Hart’s lead to 3-2.

Randall then got the last two outs on ground balls.

Hart built its lead early against starter Jake Bird, who for the fourth time in Foothill League was pulled in less than four innings of work.

This time around, Bird got into the third inning before being substituted.

Cody Miller knocked in a run with a second-inning single for Hart, and the Indians added another run on a Bird wild pitch in the third.

Haslock’s sixth-inning double scored another run and gave the Indians a 3-0 lead.

Hart has incredibly had 11 of its 12 Foothill League games decided by one run. In those games, the Indians are 5-6.

“We’ve had chances to control our own destiny, but we’ve made the bed, we have to sleep in it right now,” Ozella said. “We’re talking about playing better. It’s been encouraging. Obviously we’ve had numerous opportunities to win. But I’m really proud of my guys (today).”

West Ranch (14-8, 8-4) is tied with Canyon for first place in the Foothill League.

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