By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer
Photo gallery: Santa Fe-Whittier Christian baseball
LA MIRADA – After experiencing a rough start in which it dropped four of its first five games, the Santa Fe High baseball team put on a stellar hitting display during Tuesday’s nonleague game against Whittier Christian.
The Chiefs pounded out 17 hits en route to a 7-1 victory over the Heralds at Biola University.
Sophomore catcher Eddie Fournier paced the Santa Fe attack by going 3 for 4, which included two doubles and two RBIs.
Eli Ledesma, Jacob Ortiz, Alex Casillas and Austin Yeoman also contributed by each delivering a run-scoring single for the Chiefs, who improved to 2-4. Harley Messenger added three hits.
Santa Fe starting pitcher Martin Serna scattered six hits in six innings to earn the victory.
“They have a good ballclub,” Santa Fe coach Pierre Romo said of the Heralds. “They came at us with one of their guys and we were ready for them. We put it all together.
“Harley got an opportunity to start (on Tuesday) and he took advantage. Serna was kind of a late start for us. He really stepped up. We’re moving up little by little and getting our confidence.”
Mike Rafter delivered two hits and drove in the lone run for Whittier Christian (4-2).
Heralds coach Brent Lavoie gave praise to Santa Fe’s performance.
“You got to give credit to a good ballclub,” Lavoie said. “They executed and got the timely hits when they needed it.”
Santa Fe, holding a 3-1 lead, broke the game open by scoring three runs in the top of the sixth.
After Yeoman loaded the bases with a single to left, Casillas came through with a RBI single that drove in Messenger. The Heralds’ defense, however, managed to throw out Ortiz at home during the play.
The Chiefs didn’t lose their momentum though as Fournier and Ledesma produced back-to-back run-scoring singles that closed the inning’s scoring.
Santa Fe added one last run in the seventh when Chris Mancilla scored on a wild pitch.
Fournier put the Chiefs on the board when he drove in Yeoman with a double to left during the first inning.
The Heralds quickly responded in their half of the first when Rafter delivered his run-scoring single that drove in J.J. Farrell, who led off with a base hit.
The 1-1 deadlock didn’t last long, however, when Ortiz put the Chiefs ahead for good with his second-inning RBI single.
Santa Fe then took a 3-1 lead when Yeoman delivered his RBI hit in the fourth.
Both teams start league play on Friday.
Whittier Christian opens its Olympic League schedule at Village Christian.
Lavoie is hoping the Heralds’ nonleague schedule can benefit them in the long run.
“You always want to get tested outside your league,” Lavoie said.
“It helps you get better. We’re excited about the opportunity to get a win on Friday.”
Santa Fe will start Del Rio League play at El Rancho.