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Hart remains unbeaten with win over Grizzlies

Posted: March 28, 2014 10:07 p.m.
Updated: March 28, 2014 10:07 p.m.
Hart junior Jack Ralston pitches the ball against Golden Valley on Friday at Golden Valley High School. Hart junior Jack Ralston pitches the ball against Golden Valley on Friday at Golden Valley High School.
Hart junior Jack Ralston pitches the ball against Golden Valley on Friday at Golden Valley High School.

Hart junior starting pitcher Jack Ralston has been dominant so far this season.

And he continued to excel Friday against the Golden Valley Grizzlies as he led the Indians to a 4-1 victory at Golden Valley High School.

“Jack Ralston was outstanding,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella. “He’s been very consistent all year. He’s done great job of pitching with all the stuff he’s got, and we think he keeps on getting better every time out.”

Ralston finished with six strikeouts and no walks, as he allowed one earned run over his complete-game effort over Golden Valley (3-8 overall, 0-4 Foothill League).

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound right-hander scattered four hits, allowed only one Grizzly baserunner to advance into scoring position and never faced more than four Golden Valley batters in any inning.

“Just throw strikes. Make the hitters get themselves out,” Ralston said regarding his game plan. “Don’t try and do too much. Just pitch to your ability.”

In his four starts in 2014, Ralston has shown plenty of ability.

He’s allowed three earned runs over 26 innings and holds a record of 3-0.

His ERA currently sits at 0.81, which rose from 0.74 because of Golden Valley senior Jaiden France.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Grambling State commit cranked the fist pitch of the at-bat over the left-field wall to tie the score at 1-1.

“We’ve been working (with France) all week on going back to a line-drive swing, and that was a line-drive,” said Golden Valley head coach Gino Pomilia. “That got out of here in a hurry.”

It was France’s first home run of the season.

He finished 2-for-3.

But after the home run, Ralston locked back and recorded the next four outs by way of the strikeout.

Hart’s offense also responded after the longball.

Senior shortstop Nick Valaika put the Indians ahead for good with a two-RBI single in the top of the fifth to score Wes Fitzpatrick and Dayton Provost and make the score 3-1.

Valaika finished 2-for-3 with two stolen bases, two RBIs and a run scored, while Provost went 1-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored.

Along with his pitching performance, Ralston went 2-for-3 with a double at the dish.

Hart (10-0-1, 4-0) will look to stay unbeaten as it continues Foothill League play at Saugus on Wednesday, while Golden Valley’s next league matchup doesn’t come until April 9 at home against Valencia.

But the Grizzlies will play a doubleheader today in the Anaheim Lions Tournament.

“Any successful team depends on somebody different every game offensively,” Pomilia said of what he wants to see from his team as the season progresses. “You have to want to be that guy, and I want to see them mature to the point where (they say) I want to be that guy in that situation.”


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