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Hart baseball survives Golden Valley

Posted: May 7, 2014 10:30 p.m.
Updated: May 7, 2014 10:30 p.m.
 

At this point in the season, no team is looking for style points.

So for the Foothill League first-place Hart Indians, the value of a win doesn’t change even after they got all they could handle against the last-place Golden Valley Grizzlies on Wednesday.

Hart remained tied for first place in league with a 7-6 win over the Grizzlies, who nearly completed a six-run comeback at Hart High School.

“It wasn’t real pretty but at this time of the year, a win is a win and hopefully we’ll be able to play better on Friday,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella.

Hart (18-4-1, 9-3) opened up a 7-1 lead in the fourth inning, but Golden Valley started to chip away with three runs in the fifth and another two in the sixth to get within a run.

With one out in the sixth, the Grizzlies (4-20, 0-12) had the potential tying runner on third base in Andrei Carballo after Carballo hit an RBI single and advanced on an error in left field.

But Hart close Troy Gilbert came in and retired the next two batters with a flyout and a strikeout to end the threat.

Gilbert also kept Golden Valley off the board in the seventh to earn a five-out save.

“He’s been kind of looking to get back on the mound and do more and more and today he showed he was ready to go,” Ozella said of Gilbert.

The Indians initially built their lead via a five-run first inning.

Cody Miller drove in two of those runs with a triple before later adding a solo home run in the third inning for Hart. Miller finished 2-for-3.

Hart added its final run in the fourth when Dayton Provost plated Wes Fitzpatrick with a sacrifice fly.

The next inning, Golden Valley began to mount its comeback when Jaiden France brought home John Mark Niednagel on a groundout and two more runs scored of Lukas Granado’s RBI single which was mishandled by Hart in center field.

It was one of three Hart errors in the game, and it spelled an end to the day for Hart starter Jack Ralston.

With the win, Hart clinched its series with the Grizzlies

“We won the series, which was honestly what we were going with today, and we we’re going to try to sweep on Friday,” Ozella said.

For the Grizzlies, Niednagel went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run and Josh Lampariello finished 2-for-3 with two runs.

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