It didn’t matter what the score was, according to Hart High baseball coach Jim Ozella. What mattered was that the Indians were making progress.
But it was hard to look away from the 20-1 score as Hart defeated Canyon High on Wednesday at Hart.
“Lopsided games like that, they’re not fun for anybody,” Ozella said. “They’re not fun for us because we’re playing a little bit of a different game. Our game is run. But at the same time, you’re not going to run on a 12-0 game. So you work on other things. You work on your hitting.”
Hart’s Kendall Thomas certainly worked on his hitting, finishing the game with six RBIs, two hits and one run.
The sophomore’s highlight came in the second inning when he hit a grand slam to give the Indians a 9-0 lead.
“We want him to build his confidence and keep getting better,” said Ozella. “He’s kind of a key guy because he’s a left-handed guy, he’s got power and he tends to have pretty good at-bats.”
The Indians (10-3 overall, 3-2 in Foothill League) had two runs in the third inning, both of which came off of a Braeden McLain double. McLain had four RBIs and three hits total.
Hart piled on four runs in the fourth, then four more in the fifth to finish out the game.
Canyon (0-13, 0-5) scored its lone run in the sixth inning when Clayton Harrison hit a one-run double.
Hart’s Bryce Collins pitched five innings, allowed one hit and recorded seven strikeouts. Collins returned this season after missing a portion of the last due to injury and showed flickers of his potential against the Cowboys.
“We think he’s a very capable guy and tonight he made a lot of progress on hitting spots, pitching with angle, getting on top of the pitch where he wants it to be,” Ozella said.
With the win, Hart is on a five-game winning streak heading into spring break.
“We’re happy where we are, but we’re also dissatisfied with where we are,” said Ozella. “That means that there’s a higher upside on this team and we want to reach that.”