By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer
WHITTIER – Pioneer High dominated every phase of its nonleague game Wednesday against San Gabriel. The host Titans, lifted by a 17-hit attack and starter Sydnee Alvarez’s stellar pitching, defeated the Matadors 13-0.
Senior infielder Alisha Brock sparked Pioneer’s attack, going 3 for 5 with two RBIs. Sophomore infielder Amanda Fitzgerald also collected three hits and drove in a run. Sophomore infielder-pitcher Reyna Galarza added a pair of singles and two RBIs.
In the circle, Alvarez and Galarza combined on a five-hitter for Pioneer, which improved to 2-3.
“Sydnee had an excellent game pitching,” Pioneer coach Dyane Acevedo said. “It was just a clean, solid game by all of them. It was the best game they played so far this year.”
Alvarez, a sophomore, allowed just three hits in five innings to earn the win.
“We just did what we had to do and we executed,” Alvarez said.
Shaky defense also did not help San Gabriel (4-3), which made seven errors.
“We’re a little banged up right now,” Matadors coach Nolan Peralta said. “We made a ton of errors. We only have two pitchers, so we don’t have too much depth with pitching. There was a lot of mental errors.”
Pioneer, leading 3-0, pulled away by scoring six runs in the bottom of the fourth.
After Matadors starting pitcher Mercedes Gonzalez retired the first two batters, Jenniferamy Valverde and Raquel Norzagaray reached base on back-to-back San Gabriel errors. Fitzgerald then loaded the bases with an infield single.
This set the stage for Brock, who appeared to hit an inning-ending grounder to Gonzalez. But Gonzalez made an errant throw to first, which allowed three Titans to score and Brock to reach first.
With the inning extended, Pioneer increased its advantage when Esmeralda Ruiz, Alvarez, Tina Sanchez and Galarza delivered consecutive base hits.
Alvarez helped her own cause with a run-scoring single while Galarza closed the inning’s scoring with her two-run single.
The Titans went on to add two runs in both the fifth and the sixth. Norzagaray’s solo home run started the scoring in the fifth, which also featured an RBI groundout by Ruiz.
Tara Sanchez’s sixth-inning infield single set things up for Valverde, who delivered a base hit to right field. A Matadors miscue on the play allowed Sanchez to score. Fitzgerald then capped the game’s scoring with a one-run double.
It was the second consecutive triumph for Pioneer, which defeated Baldwin Park 9-4 on Tuesday. The Titans are hoping to make their presence felt when they start Del Rio League play against El Rancho on April 9.
“We’re looking forward to the (league) season,” Acevedo said. “It’s going to be a strong, competitive race this year. Hopefully we’re going to surprise some teams.”