ARCADIA EASTER TOURNAMENT: Bonita Refused to Have Bad Hare Day

April 5, 2012
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Justin Garza improved his record to 5-1 on the season and has won 21 of his last 22 decisions.

Justin Garza improved his record to 5-1 on the season and has won 21 of his last 22 decisions.

Bonita won the Arcadia Easter Tournament for the second year in a row as ace Justin Garza twirled a four-hit, 11-strikeout gem to defeat Glendora 7-2.

“I think it’s the best I felt all season,” Garza said. “My arm definitely felt live.”

Garza was sailing along with a two-hitter into the bottom of the seventh when Bonita was touched up for two runs when it failed to turn what would have been a game-ending double play. Glendora’s Johnny Juarez singled home Nick Kaye from third and D.J. Peters scored on a throwing error.

“Our guys were a little bit bummed about that,” Bonita head coach John Knott said. “You got to give Glendora a lot of credit. When we thought we had this thing settled down and under control, they still stayed in it, they still worked, and that’s a tribute to them.”

As invincible as Bonita appears any time Garza takes the hill, the team isn’t one that puts all its eggs in one basket. Several other players walk softly and carry a big carrot.

One of those was Tanner Diebold who got Bonita on the board first in the top of the second with a one-out single to drive in Tyler Heslop. Heslop had led off the inning with a walk, before advancing to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a nice piece of situational hitting by Nolan Henley when he gave himself up by going the other way and grounding to second base.

In the top of the third, Bonita erupted for five runs in the top of third.  The big blows were a screaming, no-doubt, lead-off home run by Justin Row and a one-out, two-run double by Heslop. Also in the inning, Garza doubled and catcher Jake Blunt singled.

Bonita added another run in the top of the fourth on a two-out single by Thomas Castro to drive in Woody Reyes.

When Glendora was trying to start something in its final at bat, catcher Blunt slammed the door by picking off a Tartan runner at third for the final out.

“He looks to do that a lot,” Knott said before further complimenting his sophomore catcher.

“Catching Justin is not easy. When you’re seeing 92-, 93-mile-an-hour fastballs under the lights, plus a slider…. He did a great job with two strikes blocking balls in the dirt.”

Despite all the pressure on Garza with scouts crowding one another behind the backstop to clock his 94 mph fastball, the senior right hander ticketed next season for Cal State Fullerton remains unflappable.

He simply refuses to have a bad hare day, and that goes for the entire team, which continues to be ranked No. 1 by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

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