Late runs lift Bears
Pierce High's baseball team scored in every inning Monday, rolling to a 12-6 win over host Biggs.
“We put the ball in play,” Bears coach Roy Perkins said, noting one of the keys to Pierce's win.
The Bears (3-0) also got some timely hits out of their 11 total, especially from their battery.
Starting pitcher Ottie Harris went 2-for-5 with a double, driving in a run, and Mike Barber, who started behind the plate, was 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs.
“He's going to be a good one,” Perkins said of Harris, who is only a freshman. Besides his two base hits, Harris also launched two deep fly balls for outs.
In the field, Harris pitched four innings, allowing six runs on eight hits. He walked four and struck out three.
In the fifth, Harris and Barber changed places. Barber tossed the final three innings, allowing no runs on one hit. He struck out two and walked none.
The difference was Pierce's play in the field, Barber said. “Last year, we made a lot of errors,” he said. “This year, we're not.”
Biggs (2-3) wasn't so fortunate defensively. The Wolverines made five physical errors and a couple of mental ones.
“We're young,” Biggs coach Jerry Walker said. Despite that, though, the Wolverines hung tough. “We kept battling. We had opportunities.”
Biggs ended up stranding six base runners.
The Wolverines also hit the ball well. Brent Walton tripled for one of his team's nine hits, and Tony Witten doubled.
Pierce took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Harris led off with his
double into the gap in left center field and he scored on Jake Driver's single to right. Driver took second on an error, moved to third on a passed ball, and scored on Ishmael Rodriguez's groundout.
Biggs answered with one run in the bottom of the first, when Walton walked, stole second and came home on Brendan Yuponce's base hit down the left field line.
Both teams scored one run in the second. Jose Vera walked for the Bears, stole second and came home on Justin Casillas' single to right.
Whitten drove in Biggs' run with his double up the middle, scoring Martin Ibarra, who single to right.
Pierce made it 4-3 in the top of the third when Barber tripled and scored on Kyle Schaad's single to right. The Wolverines countered with two runs in the bottom half of the third to knot the score, 4-4.
Joseph Honan got aboard on an error for Biggs and Jake Wheeler walked. Ibarra's single up the middle scored both runs.
Both teams scored twice more in the fourth to remain deadlocked, 6-6. Vera singled to left for Pierce and scored on Casillas' single down the right field line. With two outs, Barber drove in Casillas with a single up the middle.
Walton led off the last half of the fourth for Biggs with his triple to the gap in left center. He scored on Yuponce's single to left. Yuponce tied the game when he came home on an infield single by Honan.
Pierce broke the stalemate with two runs in the fifth. A balk scored the first run, while Vera's groundout brought home the other.
The Bears added a ninth run in the sixth when Schaad doubled to right center.
Pierce capped its scoring with three runs in the seventh. Jesus Cortez walked and scored on Casillas' bloop single up the middle. Harris followed with a single to center field to score Vera, who got aboard on an error, and Harris scored the final run on a groundout by Barber.
“The key was we got the hits when we needed them,” Harris said. “We got the hits at the right time.”