Big third inning leads to lopsided win for Raiders over Fullerton
by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal
The Sonora baseball team is now 9-0 in Freeway League play, after an 11-0 win over Fullerton High School, Friday, at home.
The game was scoreless through the first two innings, but the Raiders’ bats erupted for six runs in the third inning. Evan Sonny started off the inning with a single. Gavin Blodgett doubled and Andrew Piraino walked to load the bases with no outs.
Jake Rosander, Jose Lopez, Justin Mellano and Gabe Armstrong followed that up with four consecutive RBI singles.
After a Henry Bustamante strikeout, Mauricio Guadaramma laid down an RBI-squeeze bunt with the bases loaded. Sonny capped off the third-inning scoring with an RBI single, his second hit of the inning.
“You’ve got to be happy with the way we swung the bats today,” said Pat Tellers, Sonora head coach. “If we keep hitting like we have the past couple games, with our pitching and defense, we will be pretty tough to beat.”
Fullerton’s (9-9-1, 3-6) starting pitcher, Randall Ortiz, only lasted three-plus innings. He gave up eight runs on nine hits, with two walks and two strikeouts.
Armstrong was also the Raiders’ pitcher for the day and continued his recent dominance. He went five shutout innings while only giving up three hits, walking one and striking out three.
“I felt good today,” Armstrong said. “I got ahead of a lot of guys and made some pitches when I needed to.”
It seemed as if he could have gone longer than five innings, but he was pulled to allow JonPaul Sarro and Corey Latvala a chance to pitch.
“His pitches looked like they were getting a little flat,” Tellers said. “At this point in the season, it doesn’t hurt to rest some guys and get other guys on the mound either.”
Jose Lopez was the offensive star for the Raiders. He went 3-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored.
“I have been really happy with my at-bats of late,” Lopez said. “I have tightened up my approach and have been putting better swings on the ball.”
Sonora will now take on Buena Park, Wednesday, at home. The Coyotes sit at the bottom of the Freeway League standings at 2-7.
Evan Sonny is scheduled to take the mound on Wednesday and will likely only pitch five innings.
“We’re going to start taking the starters out after five innings,” Tellers said. “That will give guys a bit of a chance to get some rest and get ready for the playoffs. It also gives us a chance to get some guys ready to come out of the pen for us.”