By Fred J. Robledo
ONTARIO — South Hills’ Adrian DeHorta didn’t care if the nearly dozen scouts at Saturday night’s championship of the Dicks Sporting Goods Baseball tournament at Littleton Field in Ontario were there to watch Bonita’s Cal-State Fullerton-bound pitcher Justin Garza, who had an 18-game winning streak dating back to 2010.
DeHorta, and the rest of the Huskies had their own point to prove, and they provided it loud and clear.
South Hills jumped on top of Garza early and DeHorta set the pace with a one-hitter over five innings to lead the Huskies to a 2-0 victory in front of a packed house at the 2,500-seat facility that was used in the movie, “A League of Their Own.”
Ty France, named the Easton MVP, pitched the final two innings and combined with DeHorta to throw a two-hit shutout as the Huskies improved to 5-0 while the Bearcats dropped to 4-1 in a battle of early-season unbeatens.
DeHorta has one thing in common with Garza. The junior has given a verbal commitment to Cal State Fullerton.
“Tonight was the DeHorta and France show,” Huskies coach Kevin Smith said. “We knew we had a pretty good pitching staff but somewhere during this tournament the lights came on and we’re very proud of where we’re at. We beat some pretty goods teams over the last two weeks.”
Garza, who suffered his first loss in more than a year, pitched a complete game and gave up six hits. He struckout six and allowed one earned run to fall to 2-1 while DeHorta improved to 3-0.
Not only did the Bearcats struggle to provide runs for Garza, they didn’t help him defensively either.
Bonita’s two errors in the first inning helped South Hills take a 1-0 lead.
South Hills’ Danny Sheehan led off the game with a base hit and moved to third on a throwing error. Anthony Muniz walked to put runners on the corners, but Garza responded by striking out C.J. Saylor and Ty France. But on the strikeout to France, Muniz broke for second but Bonita’s throw to get him was intercepted to get Sheehan breaking for home and was thrown away, allowing Sheehan to score.
South Hills struck again in the second. After Isaiah Gonzales’ two-out double, James Arevalo singled him home to go up, 2-0.
“Anytime you can score early in a big game it puts presaure on the other team,” Bonita’s John Knott said of falling behind. “I thought Justin showed tremendous heart throughout the whole game, he didn’t get rattled by anything that didn’t go his way.
“They had first and third and nobody out in the first inning and he strikes out Saylor and France. You can’t ask for much more out of the kid. We got in this position because of him and it’s unfortunate it (winning streak) had to end, but they got good at-bats off of him and made the plays when they had to. Their pitchers also pitched well and made all the plays, so they were the better team definitely.”
Bonita’s best opportunity came in the fifth after DeHorta gave up back-to-back walks with two outs. But DeHorta struckout Garza on a 3-2 pitch to get out of the inning.
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