Bonita Gives Complete Performance in 8-0 Win over Walnut

April 2, 2010
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Josh Yepez showed fine form all game, white washing Walnut, 8-0.

Josh Yepez showed fine form all game, white washing Walnut, 8-0.

Losing teams get the minimum out of the maximum, and winning teams get the maximum out of the minimum.

That little saying was on full display yesterday as Bonita blanked Walnut 8-0 in La Verne on a five-hitter by starting pitcher Josh Yepez.

Walnut, which came into the game ranked higher in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune poll than Bonita, posed a first-inning threat on a first-pitch lead-off double by Kenny Matsune. Donald Gridiron, attempting to sacrifice, beat out the bunt for a base hit, placing runners on the corners with no outs.

Yepez had to figure he woke up on the wrong side of the bed while Walnut had to be thinking it was going to break the game open before Bonita fans had a chance to settle into their seats and enjoy the new snack bar.

However, Yepez coolly struck out the next hitter, picked off Gridiron from first and induced Walnut’s clean-up hitter to pop to short. Bingo, bango, bongo.

By contrast, Bonita was efficient and opportunistic as ever. Robert Mier beat out an infield single to start the attack. Matt Gelalich was hit in the back and Matt Rodriguez was hit in the foot to load the bases for the Bearcats. Next, Evan Highley beat out a dribbler up the third base line for one RBI, Anthony Ramos grounded to first for a second RBI, and Mark Lindsay grounded to short for a third RBI. Thomas Castro tapped back to the pitcher to end the ending, but not before the Bearcats were up, 3-0.

That’s all Yepez would need, continuing the Bearcats’ string of great pitching performances.

“Every time, Josh has gone out and competed,” Coach John Knott said. “Nothing was more indicative of that than what you saw in the first inning – first and third, nobody out, and he doesn’t give up a run. He put the pressure back on them. He stayed around the plate. From there, he made big pitches when he had to. He forced them to put the ball in play. Today was his day. It was awesome to see.”

Bonita also showed off its new snack bar bunker, where a bottle of water still goes for just a buck.

Bonita also showed off its new snack bar bunker, where a bottle of water still goes for just a buck.

In the bottom of the third, Bonita scored again on the freakiest play of the season. Ramos blasted a shot down the left field line after which the Walnut left fielder chased in hot pursuit. As ball and fielder met at the fence, the ball stayed in the yard, but the fielder flew over the barrier. Meanwhile, Ramos alertly circled the bases with an inside-the-park home run.

In the fourth, Bonita was again getting the most out of the least. Mier, who has been a catalyst all season, led off with a walk and moved to second when the umpire ruled that the catcher had interfered with the swing of No. 2 hitter Gelalich. Rodriguez followed with a perfectly executed sacrifice to play runners on second and third. Then Highley smacked a base hit into left to score both runners.

In the sixth, Bonita scored two more on a two-out, two RBI single by Castro.

Bonita did it in the field as well, not making an error. Shortstop Brian Tuttle showed off his range, going deep into the hole to make a backhand grab to throw out one runner, Mier made a nice diving stop from his second base position to rob another Walnut hitter of a base hit and Gelalich caught a sinking line drive in center to deny yet another base hit.

“Defense has been a big emphasis for us,” Knott said. “We’ve had games like this, or maybe not quite this good, where we’ve played pretty good ‘D.’ Then we’ve had games where we’ve made multiple errors. That’s going to be the key. Our pitching is going to keep us in the game. It’s whether our defense will respond as well. We try to make no more than one error a game. We didn’t make one today. Our guys wanted the ball hit to them, and Josh had great tempo.”

Bonita seems to be firing on all cylinders at the moment, making it extremely tough for many talented Bearcats to crack the starting lineup. At the same time, players who haven’t been in that day’s starting queue have been ready when their number’s been called.

“It was nice to see guys coming off the bench,” Knott said. Kc Huth stroked that ball up the middle. Andrew Rojas hit that ball hard coming off the bench. Kyle Moderow put a good piece on it. Cody Sykes put good wood on it. Guys were in the game.”

As well, Junior pitcher Brandon Murfett closed out the game, striking out two batters.

Bonita plays a double header on Saturday, matching up against South Pasadena at 10 a.m. and then at 4 p.m. against Diamond Bar. Both games are at Bonita.

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