After its 6-5 loss to Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks at home Tuesday, Hart High baseball didn’t know yet who it would play Thursday in the next round of the Easton Southern California Showdown.
However, the Indians (1-1) were aware of a few things they needed to practice in the meantime.
“It was not very pretty today,” said Hart coach Jim Ozella, whose team left the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning. “It was not an easy day. We must have thrown a thousand pitches on our pitching staff in seven innings. We weren’t very good on defense. Give them credit. They did some things that forced us to make some plays, and we didn’t make some plays.”
PHOTOS: Notre Dame defeats Hart baseball
Hart made four errors on the day, leading to at least four unearned runs for Notre Dame (2-0), which will move on to bracket play of the Easton tournament after winning Pool D with a 2-0 record.
Hart, at 1-1 in the tournament, will have its three remaining Easton games prescheduled.
At least the Indians will be out on the field after weather wiped 12 winter-ball games off their schedule.
“We need to play,” Ozella said. “Obviously, the weather has been detrimental to playing a lot. I’m not going to use that as an excuse, but we need to play, and we need to get some of this out of our system.”
A Hart throwing error on a routine ground ball kick-started a two-run third inning for Notre Dame.
The Knights added two more unearned runs in the sixth inning after a dropped fly ball.
Still, to Hart’s credit, after the Indians dug themselves a hole, they almost climbed all the way out.
Kendall Thomas’ RBI triple off the wall in right brought the Indians within 6-4 of the Knights in the sixth inning. Thomas then scored on a passed ball to set up an interesting seventh inning.
Indians catcher Matt Elser reached on one of Notre Dame’s three errors on the day to open the final frame. A hit batter and an intentional walk to Cole Roederer loaded the bases with two outs. But freshman left-hander Conner Skertich dropped in a sharp curveball for a called strike three to the next batter to end the game.
“There’s a lot of positives and a few negatives,” Roederer said of the game. “Next day, tomorrow, we have to go to work, get better. We’ll come back.”
Roederer had two singles for Hart — one of a few bright spots that included 1 2/3 innings of solid relief from Jacob Cevene.
Notre Dame’s Hunter Greene, a Stevenson Ranch resident and a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s Major League Baseball Draft, went 2-for-4 at the plate. He’s four for his first eight on the young season with four RBIs he picked up with a grand slam Saturday.
Greene said Tuesday that he’d brought his backpack to the game and wouldn’t have to return to Notre Dame before driving home.
“I’m down the street from my house. That’s nice to get that drive back,” he said. “It was a lot of fun. I grew up (in William S. Hart youth baseball) playing against these guys that are at Hart. A lot of people came out (today), just fans who used to watch me play and came to see where I am.”
Other Easton tournament action Tuesday
Oaks Christian of Westlake Village 2, West Ranch 1
Timmy Josten threw five innings of one-run baseball for the Wildcats (1-1) in the road loss. He struck out five. West Ranch’s Austin Hernandez had two hits, and Will Chambers, who recently committed to play at UC Santa Barbara, had a double.
Harvard-Westlake of Studio City 1, Saugus 0
Tony Jacob threw a one-hit complete game for Saugus (1-1) in the road loss. Harvard-Westlake’s hit was an RBI double in the fifth inning. Saugus had three hits in the game.
Valencia 8, Quartz Hill 2
Shane Huey and Ben Fariss homered for the Vikings (2-0) at home, while teammate Trace Eldridge went 3-for-3.
Valencia plays at Moorpark on Thursday in the tournament’s quarterfinals.