In News, Sports
BASEBALL: Hawks even the score against Emperors

Gage Hastin bats in winning run for Hawks before shutting down Emperor defense to win final league game

TULARE – After losing to Dinuba two days prior, the Hawks committed zero errors and redeemed themselves with a win to remain tied with the Emperors in the league standings.

The Mission Oak Hawks finished the regular season with a 3-2 win over the Dinuba Emperors on Friday, May 12. After losing 7-2 to the Emperors on May 10, the Hawks came out swinging and that made all the difference. It was a 2-2 game in the bottom of the fifth when sophomore Gage Hastin stepped up to bat and hit a double off the first pitch, sending Nick Retiz home for the winning run. The Hawks and the Emperors had identical records at the beginning of the week. After the Emperors’ win on May 10, the Hawks needed to win to tie the records again.

“Wednesday we did not swing the bat,” Mission Oak head coach Kevin Break said. “We only had two hits on Wednesday. Today we swung the bat a lot better.”

The Hawks tripled their hits from Wednesday with six total in the Friday game. Korey Barham led the Hawks with two hits. His first line drive to left field in the second inning sent Ty Burns home for the Hawks first run. Designated hitter Eduardo Bravo batted in the second run and Hastin hit the big double in the fifth for the win.

Starting on the mound for the Hawks on their senior day was senior Nathan Martin who pitched four and a third innings before Hastin came in to close it out. Facing 21 batters, Martin allowed six hits and struck out two batters. Hastin, the Hawks’ ace, came in once they were up to hold off the Emperors. He struck out four of the seven batters he faced, including the final two batters in the seventh inning for the win.

“I think it was just a well-pitched game,” Dinuba head coach Brent Morrelli said. “Their pitcher that came in at the end is a really good pitcher. They take the lead and they put him in for a reason.”

Sophomore Anthony Pompa pitched all six innings for the Emperors. Staying in the entire game, he made the Hawks work for all six hits. He didn’t walk a single one of the 26 batters he faced and struck out six of them.

Defensively, the Hawks were as perfect as they could be behind Martin and Hastin. They didn’t commit a single error in the field and both of Dinuba’s runs came from line drives to center and right field with runners already on base and in position to score. While the Hawks did everything correctly, distance to home plate from the outfield cannot be helped.

For the seniors, it was a memorable game, a redemption story after losing to the same team earlier in the week. Rudy Rodriquez Romero, Jorge Rios, Burns and Martin won their final regular season game at home in front of family, friends and peers. With the win, they were able to tie with Dinuba for the fourth place spot in the West Yosemite League.

“I think it means a lot to them,” Break said. “Something that they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives.”

Start typing and press Enter to search