By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
Sierra Canyon baseball (17-0, 8-0) stayed perfect after knocking off the visiting Hart Indians (10-7, 4-0) on Saturday.
LSU commit Jaden Noot would be the biggest factor for the Trailblazers. The senior threw seven strong innings, fanning eight and holding Hart to just three runs.
The Indians have had an excruciating non-league schedule so far and MaxPreps’ No. 5 team in the nation would be the biggest test so far for Hart.
Sierra Canyon got on the board first in the second but sparked in the third inning.
Hart starting pitcher Sean Elsee got in trouble after a leadoff hitter reached first followed by a walk. Noot would then bunt to bring in the second run of the game.
Blazers’ first baseman Julian Areliz then launched a deep shot to right to score the next two to go up 4-0.
Elsee walked his next batter and was then pulled for Aaron Silverman, who inherited a two-on, two-out jam. But after a long at bat with Sierra Canyon’s Darrin Yoon, Silverman forced a groundout and stranded two Blazers.
Hart got on the board immediately after, with one run. Second baseman Reagan Meyer got the first run advancing on a ground-out from Ryan Egan.
Noot did damage on the mound and at the plate. He got his first hit with a big RBI double to go back up by four runs. The ace then locked in on defense and retired the side, forcing a quick top of the fifth for Hart.
“There’s a lot of little things that we need to get done,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella. “Little things becoming big things.”
Hart relief pitcher Chris Moreno would then get the call to the mound in the sixth. Moreno had a tough part of the order to deal with, and after retiring his first batter couldn’t keep the Blazers down much longer. Moreno hit Wendersheim in his next at bat whom Noot brought in with another big RBI hit. Sierra Canyon’s catcher then brought in Noot with a big shot to center to go up 7-1.
The Indians never counted themselves out. In fact, the team just scored six runs in the seventh the day before in their win over Saugus.
Catcher Ryan De La Maza got the first hit of the inning. Then with two outs, Hart registered consecutive RBIs from Isaiah Alvarado and Casey Hinojosa. The pair were a combined 0-4 with three strikeouts before the seventh.
“We’ve been improving at the plate,” said Ozella. “We still have a long way to go.”
Noot shook off the two runs and just needed one more out to secure his win. The future LSU Tiger struck out Caden Helgeson to end the game and keep the perfect season alive.
“[Noot’s] just dominating from beginning to end,” said Blazers’ head coach Jerry Royster. “There’s no chance he’s coming out unless he ran out of pitches. He’s for real, he’s the real deal.”
Hart’s confidence was in no way flattened and there were plenty of calm “we’ll see you in the playoffs” comments from the team directed at the Sierra Canyon side.
The Indians will now prepare for their league series with Castaic while Sierra Canyon has the week off before facing another Foothill league team in Valencia Saturday.