Bonita Patiently Closes the Door on Westlake, 4-2

March 23, 2012
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Coach John Knott sizes up another winning Bonita performance.

Coach John Knott sizes up another winning Bonita performance.

To all of Bonita’s early season (8-1) virtues, you can add one more: patience. First, Bonita waited patiently for the late-arriving Westlake team bus to show up on a cool Thursday night. Then it patiently waited for its offense to awake, which it finally did in the bottom of the fifth, erupting for four runs to defeat the Warriors 4-2, on the Bearcats’ home field.

“I was proud of the way the kids came back,” Bonita head coach John Knott said. “It was 2-0. We weren’t really in it offensively. We didn’t have too many good at bats, but we stayed in the game. And then we did a great job in the fifth scratching out four runs.”

Indeed, only Bonita’s Thomas Castro had singled off of Westlake’s Nick Noack before the fateful fifth. After Noack hit Nolan Henley to start the inning, Anthony Gonzalez singled sharply to put two runners aboard with no out. After Noack fanned Victor Magallanes he hit No. 9 hitter, Woody Reyes, to load the bases and turn over the Bonita line-up once more.

Lead-off hitter Justin Row responded with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring the speedy Henley. Justin Garza followed with an RBI single plating Gonzalez, then Castro doubled deep into the right-field corner to score Reyes and Garza. Jake Blunt grounded to short to end the inning.

After watching his starter Sam Stavang handcuff the Warriors for five innings, Knott handed the ball to his closer Parker Merritt for the final two frames. Stavang surrendered two unearned runs on a pair of hits. In the fourth, Stavang was his own worst enemy when his attempted pick-off of Paul Cipriani at third base sailed past Garza for the game’s first run. In the fourth, Westlake again took advantage of Bonita miscues. After hitting Troy Beltran to start the inning, Stavang tossed a couple wild pitches. On the second wild pitch, Beltran bolted for third when the ball skipped away from catcher Tyler Heslop. Beltran trotted home on Heslop’s overthrow to third.

“Stavang had way too many walks, but still was tough, he didn’t give in,” Knott said about his junior hurler.

About Merritt’s closing stint, he added: “He was pumping strikes and pretty much closed the door.”

Bonita, 8-1, next takes the field this Saturday at home against Tustin, once again looking to close the door with another well-time rally and just the right amount of offensive pop and patience.

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