Sports

Big inning allowed by Highlanders leads to first league loss

La Habra shortstop Jonathan Hernandez makes a play in the infield during the Highlanders' 10-6 loss to Troy at home, Friday afternoon.
La Habra shortstop Jonathan Hernandez makes a play in the infield during the Highlanders’ 10-6 loss to Troy at home, Friday afternoon.

Story and photos by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

After the La Habra baseball team captured the lead in the third inning, Troy stormed back with five runs holding on to a decisive 10-6 victory, Friday afternoon at La Habra High.

“We jump out and we get a lead, and we go right back and cough it up,” head coach John Sothern said.

The Highlanders struggled to string together hits, while the Warriors’ bats were active all game. The Warriors found success when they reached base early in the inning, while the Highlanders were only able to find production through plate discipline.

“I didn’t like anything all day long other than the (third) inning when we had good at bats,” Sothern said.

Down 5-2 in the third inning, with just one out, the Highlanders (7-6, 2-1) put their plate discipline in action. Austin Saad got the ball rolling by getting plunked on the leg, Michael Borg followed his lead by drawing a walk and Brad Hoffrichter loaded the bases with another walk.

Jake Tourville pinch-hit for Carlos Lomeli and knocked in the first run in the inning on an error by the third baseman.

With the bases still loaded and still just one out, the wheels had fallen off for starting pitcher Evan Frobisher. Two walks later and still no outs, the Highlanders had tied the score at five. Chris Nuanes hit a sacrifice fly to right to give his team the lead before heading back out to the mound.

Nuanes inherited two base runners when he came in to relieve Andrew Gallegos in the top of the third inning. With runners on first and second, Nuanes picked up back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam with only one run for the inning.

After the big inning for the Highlanders though, the Warriors (5-8, 2-1) were determined to regain the lead and take control of the game.

The fourth inning began with a throwing error from Jonathon Hernandez, as he rushed to throw out the speedy leadoff hitter Turner Acosta. Kris Amparo took a pitch square in the back and Tim Kim loaded the bases with a single. Though Nuanes was missing bats the inning prior, the Warriors adjusted to his pitches and broke the game open with 5 singles in six at bats.

“Defense was terrible today, pitching was terrible today, I mean it was just bad,” Sothern said.

With the score now 10-6, the Warriors cruised to the victory behind the arm of Brett Boller who kept the Highlanders’ bats quiet the rest of the afternoon.

La Habra's Austin Saad takes a swing at a pitch from Troy's Evan Frobisher during the Highlanders' 10-6 loss to Troy at home, Friday afternoon.
La Habra’s Austin Saad takes a swing at a pitch from Troy’s Evan Frobisher during the Highlanders’ 10-6 loss to Troy at home, Friday afternoon.

The Highlanders saw two quality innings from Tyler Holub in the fifth and sixth innings, but by then their biggest concerns were offensive.

“The biggest difference between his inning and the other innings was he came out in both innings and got the first batter out, he throws strikes get the first batter out they don’t get anything,” Sothern said.

With the loss, the Highlanders fall to 2-1 in Freeway league play, and will visit Sonora High school next Wednesday.

“The vast majority of the time we are going to do it right, today was one of those days where we didn’t do anything right,” Sothern said. “We obviously have to play a lot better than this. If we are going to play like this we are going to be terrible. If we figure it out, we’ll be fine.”

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.