It may have only been the second Foothill League game of the season for West Ranch High and Hart High baseball, but the electric atmosphere was one of playoffs on Friday afternoon.
The Wildcats had the higher voltage, pulling off a tense 6-4 win at West Ranch.
“Everyone had a big role in this and not anyone was the big bopper and not anyone was the big strikeout guy on the mound,” said Cats coach Casey Burrill. “Everyone had some small things.”
The team put on a well-rounded performance that started with solid pitching from Alex Burge, who pitched five innings and allowed four runs on six hits and struck out two.
With a 2-2 tie heading into the third frame, Burge and the Wildcats (6-3 overall, 2-0 in Foothill) shut down the Indians for two innings before storming back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to pull ahead 4-2.
“When we started getting going and when I got a zero on the board, I knew we were going to get a win,” Burge said.
Hart’s Cole Roederer gave his team hope in the fifth inning when he rocketed a two-run home run, tying the game for the final time.
“It didn’t really affect me,” Burge said. “Right when I released the ball, I knew it was a bad pitch and I knew he was going to make me pay for it because I knew that was one of their better hitters. But it didn’t really affect me mentally.”
West Ranch’s Timmy Josten bunted home a runner from third base in the fifth inning, and Ryan Camacho hit an RBI single in the sixth to close out the game.
The Indians (5-3, 0-2) used four different pitchers in an attempt to change the course of the momentum.
“It affects me a little bit, just like the different arm motions but overall you’ve just got to hit the ball,” said Camacho, who had three hits in addition to the RBI. “You have to have a good at-bat no matter what.”
According to Hart coach James Ozella, it was the little things that prohibited a win.
“We have to be more attentive to getting it done,” he said. “I like the way we competed today. We have to get back in the right side and get ourselves ahead. We get ahead. They come back at us. We fall behind. We come back at them. That’s what you’ve really got to do: small things.”
Golden Valley 3, Canyon 0
Grizzlies pitcher Andrew Holt pitched a complete-game shutout and recorded four strikeouts.
Leon Jackson had a pinch hit double, Captain Kana had pinch hit RBI sacrifice fly and Eddie Rodriguez hit an RBI single. Golden Valley is 1-1 in league, while Canyon is 0-2.