In Hart High’s 3-0 VIBL summer league win over Canyon at Hart, Josh Cerpa’s game was both patient and urgent.
At the plate, where he went 3-for-4, he was the former.
“In a high-paced game like this, it’s all about mental game,” Cerpa said. “You really have to be patient. That’s how you’re going to be successful in this game.”
After the Indians scored on an error in the third inning, offense from both teams was silent until the sixth inning, thanks to Cerpa.
His two-run double put Hart up 3-0.
“He gave me a first-pitch curveball, he was throwing me down the middle and outside, so I was kind of expecting something inside … that was the pitch I wanted to hit,” said Cerpa.
Defensively, at third base, the rising senior was alert and ready, evidenced by a reaching catch for a fly out in the sixth inning and a low catch of a speedy ground ball that resulted in a ground out.
“Your veterans are supposed to be leaders and guys who play the hardest,” said Hart coach Jim Ozella. “So you know, in regards to that, he’s a guy who is a returning guy who used to show everybody, all the young guys, especially, how to play the game.”
Canyon pitcher Anthony Santillan threw six innings for 70 pitches. A bright spot for the Cowboys.
“We’ve got good pitching, we’re in ball games because we’re throwing strikes and we’re playing some defense,” said Canyon coach Drew Peterson. “But offensively, you’ve got to score runs to win ball games and we’re not doing that.”
Hart’s pitching corps consisted of Bryce Collins and Destin Ray, who each threw for three innings, in addition to Ryan Carolan, who pitched in the seventh.
“We have a lot of relievers, good relievers,” Cerpa said. “We have a lot of good starters that I think are going to brighten up once our season starts, but we’re looking pretty good right now.”
Hart continues its VIBL schedule at Saugus on Wednesday at 5 p.m. Canyon will be away at Burbank at 7 p.m.