By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal
After dropping six straight league games, the La Habra baseball team knew it was now or never if they were going to have any chance at reaching the postseason. The Highlanders responded with an offensive outburst that was too much for Fullerton to handle.
After getting out to an early 2-0 lead, the Indians scratched their way back into the game, tying it up by the fifth inning.
La Habra pulled away for good with four runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by a pair of doubles off the center field wall from Zack Stack and Michael Borg.
Head coach John Sothern said the key to the offensive success today was staying in the middle of the field, which is something he has been preaching to his team for four years now.
“Stack doubled to left-center field and Borg hit the homerun and a double to center, we had a lot of balls hit to the middle of the field today,” Sothern said.
The Highlanders opened the game with a bang. Borg launched a two-run shot over the centerfield fence in the first inning.
The Indians got runners in scoring position in three of the first four innings, but starting pitcher Andrew Martinez almost seemed more comfortable with his back against the wall. Martinez got the Indians to hit into double plays in each of the first two innings.
Fullerton finally got a run across in the fourth inning on Andrew Ortiz’s sacrifice fly. Adam Castillo came into the game in relief with the bases loaded, but got the first batter he faced to end the inning.
After a dropped third strike gave the Indians an extra out to work with, Daniel Weatrowski singled in the tying run. Brad Hoffrichter made a perfect throw from center field on the play, stopping what would have been the go ahead run to end the inning.
Borg and Stack both finished with three hits and three RBI, including two extra base hits a piece.
Castillo picked up the win for the Highlanders, going 3 ⅓ innings allowing one earned.
Sothern admitted that his team has their back against the wall and work cutout for them, after their recent losing streak. But he is confident if they play like they did today it will work out.
“When we play like this, it’s going to be really, really tough to beat us,” Sothern said. “It would take a really good team on a really good day to beat us, but unfortunately we have painted ourselves into a corner.”
La Habra (11-14-1, 4-6) needs to win its four remaining Freeway League games to have a chance at CIF. The Highlanders will try to continue what they started Friday when they take on Sunny Hills (9-16-1, 2-9) next week. They will be at home on Tuesday, then away on Thursday.