Frosty Start Too Much for Bonita to Overcome

December 8, 2008
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Bonita pitcher Nico Calderaro pitched a complete game and notched nine strikeouts, but Bonita fell 4-3 to Northview in the season opener for both teams at Glendora's Henderson Field on Saturday, March 7.

Bonita pitcher Nico Calderaro pitched a complete game and notched nine strikeouts, but Bonita fell 4-3 to Northview in the season opener for both teams at Glendora's Henderson Field on Saturday, March 7.

On a frigid Saturday night that felt like the Costco produce cooler, Bonita’s bats didn’t thaw out in time to overcome the Northview Vikings, who held on for a 4-3 victory in the season opener for both teams at Henderson Field in Glendora.

Excellent pitching dominated the early frames of the contest, with Northview’s Eric Ruvalcaba, throwing a no-hitter through the first three innings and Bonita ace Nico Calderaro surrendering just one hit, a first-inning solo blast over the centerfield fence by third baseman Ryan Arnold.

‚ÄúIf you come out flat, if you go one time through the order with timid and poor at-bats, you‚Äôre already in the fourth inning, and the best you can do is 0-0,‚ÄĚ Bonita Coach John Knott said. ‚ÄúUnfortunately, we don‚Äôt go nine innings, so we have to find a way to spark things earlier.

“I couldn‚Äôt have asked for much more¬†from Nico,” Knott added. “He had a clutch hit and he pitched great.‚ÄĚ

That hit, a sharp line drive into right-centerfield, came with two outs in the fifth, driving in Evan Highly, who had led off the inning with a walk. Northview, however, responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning, triggered by a one-out bloop-single that fell untouched down the right field line and  a sinking line-drive double into the right field corner.  Before Calderaro could put out the fire, Northview had built a 4-1 lead.

Bonita, which had broken the ice in the previous inning, was again warming to the task in the sixth. After shortstop Jio Mier worked a two-out walk, first baseman Jason Plowman smacked a double down the third base line.  No. 5 hitter Catcher Evan Highly plated both runners with a solid single to left. Both Plowman and Highly connected on first-pitch fastballs. That was enough for Northview coach Darren Murphy who pulled Ruvalcaba in favor of Eddie Pedroza. After Pedroza walked Bonita third baseman Terry Paredez, he induced pinch hitter Jeff Gelalich to ground out to first.

After mowing down Northview again in the bottom of the sixth, Bonita had one last crack at Northview. Down to its last out, Ryan Henley, who collected Bonita’s first hit in the top of the fourth, squeezed out a walk after being down in the count. The senior Pedroza, who went 6-0 last year in Northview’s championship season, fanned Brian Tuttle on a tough 3-2 pitch to end the game, with Mier watching from the on-deck circle.

Finishing with nine strike-outs and a complete game, Calderaro deserved better, but the loss was only one game, albeit the opponent was Northview who ended Bonita’s season last year in the quarterfinals.

“It‚Äôs early in the year,‚ÄĚ Knott said. ‚ÄúFirst-game jitters, a lot of emotions, a night game. There‚Äôs a feeling of knowing we can dominate and do a lot of really good things, but the reality is we have to compete from the first pitch. ¬†This will test the¬†character of our program. We‚Äôll come out Monday, work hard, do things the right way, and we‚Äôll get better.‚ÄĚ

Bonita will get that chance to improve when it faces Crescenta Valley on Tuesday.

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