A scoring drought was in full effect in the Foothill League baseball game between Hart and Canyon on Friday.
Charles Harrison, a UCLA commit, was on the mound for the Cowboys and striking batters out at a regular pace. Pat Arman was dealing for the Indians and was backed by a quick defense that wasn’t allowing anyone on base.
Hart was able to manufacture one run in the first inning with Rocco Saldivar scoring on a passed ball, but it wasn’t until the fifth inning that the Indians were able to string together quality hits to shut out Canyon 8-0.
“We kind of have done this the past couple games at the beginning of the season where we’ve gone scoreless, but it’s always been that lucky third inning where after that, that’s when we turn it on as a team,” said Rocco Saldivar, who went 2-for-3 for the Indians. “I wasn’t really too worried about it because I know I’m really confident in this team and what we can do.”
Arman got the scoring rolling in the fifth inning, cracking an RBI single to score Steven Boggs. Saldivar hit an RBI single in the next at-bat, then Isaac Kim hit an RBI double immediately after.
Kim, a first baseman, was playing in his third game of the season for Hart (8-8 overall, 3-4 in Foothill League play) after returning from a hamstring injury.
“Ever since I got injured I wanted to play again,” Kim said. “Now I can play, so I’m happy.
“I just went up there and I thought ‘I need to do this for my team,’ score some guys and coach told me just keep it simple, think right side and that’s what I did.”
Kendall Thomas scored the final run of the fifth inning, driving in Saldivar on a sacrifice groundout.
Canyon’s Conrad Meza and Josh Ortega each hit a single in the bottom of the inning but the Cowboys (3-10, 2-5) were unable to put a run on the board.
Conversely, for the Indians, the runs kept coming. Arman and Saldivar were each able to hit RBI singles off of Jacob Melville, who took over for Harrison, in the sixth inning.
“It was relieving because we haven’t really been swinging the bat too well,” Arman said. “Some guys stepped it up today and it was really good.”
Thomas wrapped up the scoring for Hart, smacking a solo home run in the seventh inning. It’s his fourth homer of the season and comes after hitting a grand slam against Saugus on March 13.
“He’s been my best friend since third grade, so it’s always fun to see him do well,” Saldivar said of Thomas. “It’s always fun just to know he hits home runs.”
Arman, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs at the plate also threw for five innings, dealing five strikeouts and allowing five hits.
“You’re running on adrenaline out there and you know your guys have got your back, they’re scoring some runs so you figure you’ll get their back too out there,” Arman said.
Harrison pitched five innings, recording six strikeouts and allowing six hits. He anchored the team in that time frame with a slider that gave Indians batters fits.
“He works off the fastball really well, he’s got a good slider,” Arman said. “And he’s got a mindset on the mound where he just goes at you.”
Hart plays in the Redondo Tournament on Saturday against Palos Verdes at 11 a.m. and resumes Foothill League play on Monday. The Indians host Canyon at home at 3:30 p.m.
The Cowboys will look to snap a five-game losing skid and pick up their third win of league play.
“It’s hard to accomplish a big thing when you can’t do the little things right,” Canyon coach Justin Stark said. “Little things like putting stuff away and cleaning the field the way you’re supposed to do it. Showing up on time, things like that. We need to get better if we want to accomplish something as big as winning a game.”