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Foothill League baseball: Hart stays in the mix

Indians have to push back Golden Valley’s charge

Posted: May 9, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 9, 2012 1:55 a.m.

At this point in the season, the result is all that matters.

Hart baseball had to crawl from behind early, steal a few bases and cash in on a few walks to beat Golden Valley 8-5 on Tuesday at Hart High School.

Down three runs in the final inning, Golden Valley loaded the bases with two out and got the tying run to the plate before Hart pitching Josh Bendig induced a game-ending flyout.

“We love to make things nice and interesting, build up the blood pressure a little bit,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella.

The banged up Indians team needed a win to remain tied for second place in the Foothill League with Valencia and Saugus with one game to go.

Valencia holds the tiebreaker over Hart (14-11 overall, 9-5 Foothill League), and the Indians hold a tiebreaker over Saugus if the three teams were to finish the season at 10-5.

The top three teams earn automatic bids to the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.

A fourth team would likely receive an at-large bid.

In the mean time, the Indians were aided by six walks on Tuesday issued by Golden Valley pitching in the game and a few wild pitches as well.

Luke Persico was the only Hart player with multiple hits, notching two of his team’s six on the day.

The Grizzlies (4-20, 0-14) scored four runs in second to take a 4-1 lead.

Hart chipped away at the lead and pulled ahead for good when it put three across in the sixth.

One run scored off a wild pitch, another off a passed ball and the final run came in on a Tyler Webb suicide squeeze with two strikes.

“We did a pretty good job executing today,” Ozella said. “We took advantage of some of their walks, a couple of our guys came up with some clutch hits.”

Bendig was the winning pitcher as he pitcher 1 1/3 scoreless innings to finish out the game. Ricky Torres pitched a strong 3 2/3 innings in the middle of the game, allowing one run in the sixth.

The Indians head into Thursday’s season finale still missing four batters from the starting lineup.

“We’re scrambling right now. We’re just trying to play better and put some innings together and play better defense and win some games,” Ozella said. “We’re trying to get into playoffs on a little run.”



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