TUESDAY, April 5: Garza Stretches Streak to Six Straight by Defeating Saints, 9-1

April 5, 2011
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What a difference 24 hours makes.

Once again, Justin Garza was in command, stretching his undefeated record to 6-0.

Once again, Justin Garza was in command, stretching his undefeated record to 6-0.

After getting whitewashed on Monday by Glendora, Bonita turned things around by defeating San Dimas, 9-1, in the Arcadia Apache tournament on Tuesday morning.

“That’s what’s great about tournaments,” said Bonita Coach John Knott, whose Bearcats are now 11-3 after the win, the second over San Dimas this season. “It gave us a chance to come back and not dwell on the loss.”

The only hiccup in Bonita’s performance was the top of the first when Bonita ace Justin Garza walked the leadoff hitter and hit the second batter he faced. After a successful sacrifice by Matt Munoz who was just nipped at first, Garza was facing runners at second and third with just one out. That’s, however, when the senior hurler put his foot on the gas pedal, striking out Eric Morrel and inducing Matt Lee to ground out to end the early threat.

“He could have easily collapsed,” Knott said. “He makes a great play on a bunt right there. Ninety-nine percent of high school pitchers would have just eaten it. That would have loaded it up right there. Then who knows how many runs they could have scored, and they end up going away with none.”

As it was, Garza’s 0.42 going into the game would sink even lower because the one run he surrendered in the fifth was unearned.

“In terms of poise and his presence, he just does not get rattled,” Knott added in admiration of his ace.

Bonita’s bats that had been silent the day before roared like the Guns of August. Leading the nine-hit attack for Bonita were Mark Lindsay, Robert Mieir and Garza with two hits apiece.

Matt Gelalich fouls one back in the first inning against Matt Lee.

Matt Gelalich fouls one back in the first inning against Matt Lee.

Bonita scored four runs in the bottom of the first. With one out and Matt Gelalich on third and Mier standing on first, clean-up hitter KC Huth hit a sharp grounder that the third baseman booted to cash in Gelalich. Lindsay then lined a single to left. When the ball got by the left fielder, Mier and Huth raced home to make it 3-0. Garza followed with a single to plate Lindsay to complete the scoring.

Bonita scored another run in the fourth. Matt Rodriguez started off the inning with a flare to left and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch with two outs.

The Bearcats came right back in the fifth, scoring four more runs on four hits. A couple of those were gifts, courtesy of the Saints, who were guilty of a wild pickoff throw to third and a balk.

“I was proud of the way we swung it today, Knott said. “I thought we executed for the most part. We put a lot of pressure on those guys. Offensively, we stole a few bags, and our guys hit with runners on base. It was a good way to respond.”

Especially against a close cross-town rival.

“We enjoy playing them,” Knott added. “They never give in. The last inning they made every out difficult.”

Bonita suits up again tomorrow at either 4 p.m. or 7 p.m. depending on the outcome of games played later today.

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