Hart baseball wins 18-13 shootout vs. Arroyo Grande in first-round state playoff matchup

Hart High School senior Jake Villar pitches during Tuesday's game against Cerritos. June 08, 2021. Bobby Block / The Signal.

By Ryan Menzie 
For The Signal 

The Hart High baseball season continues for another day as the Indians won their road playoff matchup against the Arroyo Grande Eagles on Tuesday. A long trip to Arroyo Grande and a large home crowd for the Eagles were not enough to deter the Indians as they now have their eyes toward the biggest prize of the season.  

The crazy high-scoring game consisted of plenty of hitting in a very competitive and challenging environment. Hart head coach James Ozella believes the pitching on both sides did very well, even considering the circumstances and high scoring from both teams. It was a tough matchup, but Ozella is proud of his team as they continue their playoff run. 

“Our guys really rose to the challenge,” said Ozella. “They play on a small field and the players did a great job challenging the pitch. It was a very wild and very competitive game just like the score sounds, but it was exciting nonetheless and we’re happy we won the game.”  

Of the standouts for the Indians, senior infielder Maliqui Soqui rose to the challenge and finished the day going three for five batting with a walk, and complimented his teammates doing the scouting on the pitches before him.  

“I think we played very well and hit very well. We also took advantage of fielding mistakes with the good defense we played,” said Soqui. “To win the next game, we need to have good at bats again and take pitches out of the zone. These things carry over from game to game and I hope we can keep the momentum going.” 

The Indians look to keep the momentum going into their second-round matchup against the Arlington Lions on Thursday at Riverside.

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