For The Signal
After a dominant 2018 season and graduating a few key seniors, Hart baseball is taking the summer to refresh with competition in the Valley Invitational Baseball League (VIBL). Hart hosted Burbank High School for a seven-inning summer ball game on Wednesday evening. The Indians downed Burbank 16-0, with the bulk of the runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
Hart got up early in the game, putting two runs on the board in the second inning. Rising junior Judah Silverman hit the mound in the fourth to retire the side.
A rally started in the bottom of the fourth after a walk by designated hitter Hunter Ventress. One more walk and three hit-by-pitch’s later, Hart had two cross the plate. David Holuby entered the box and crushed an RBI single to short left center field to bring in two more and round out the fourth inning scoring at 4. Hart led Burbank 6-0.
Silverman dealt again in the top of the fifth with two strikeouts and a pop-out to catcher Jackson Dow. Returning to the dugout, Ventress led his team off in the fifth with another walk. Singles by Kyle Smisko, Rocco Saldivar, and Holuby added runs for Hart and loaded the bases for Patrick Arman. Arman hit a first-pitch double that one-hopped the wall and drove in two more runs. After the fifth inning, Hart had a dominant 13-0 lead.
“I was just looking to stay up the middle, drive the ball hard, and get the runners in. That’s pretty much it,” Arman said. “I felt pretty strong. I’ve never really hit the ball that deep in center field so it was a good feeling.”
Adding to the lead in the sixth inning, pitcher Jack McNulty smacked a double to center field and his team rallied behind him. Back-to-back singles from Holuby and Arman scored two runs and Hart took the win from Burbank 16-0 after six and a half innings.
“In summer ball, we rotate a lot. Some of our pitchers got an opportunity to swing the bat today and put the ball in play. The guys get real excited about that,” Coach Jim Ozella said. “We got ahead in the count and hit some balls hard. We don’t really worry too much about who we’re playing. We’re just trying to play against ourselves in some aspects.”
NOTE: Hart baseball hosted its first-ever Day at the Field camp on June 26th to work with kids from the Boys and Girls Club in Newhall, Calif. Each varsity player taught baseball basics, such as throwing and hitting, to two or three elementary aged kids.
The kids were invited to watch a Hart varsity baseball game on Wednesday evening against Burbank. While at the game, they were treated to a hot dog box lunch from the snack bar and able to cheer on their favorite varsity player from the bleachers.
“It is really a part of Coach Ozella’s effort to give back to the community. This program is big on community service so we are happy to do it and happy that the kids had fun,” President of the Hart Baseball Booster club, John Dow said.