By Stephen Ramirez
MONTEBELLO >> Losses have become so rare for the Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary High School baseball team in recent seasons that most associated with the program can’t remember the last time it suffered three-consecutive setbacks.The Cardinals are still wondering after making sure Wednesday they wouldn’t experience an unwanted three-peat.Jared Thomas hit a leadoff home run and Mark Saavedra threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings to help CSHM end a two-game losing skein with a 5-0 victory over visiting Mary Star of the Sea in a Camino Real League game.Ruben Rios had two RBIs and Johnny Rodriguez and Zach Thomas had two hits each for the Cardinals (9-3, 3-0), who had lost consecutive nonleague games to Warren and Bonita.
“It was very big to get back on the winning track,” CSHM coach Rudy Garcia said. “We lost two and you never want to lose three in a row. This was a league game, so it made it even bigger. I was confident in the boys. It’s a good win for us.”
Jared Thomas, who was hitting .400 entering the game, gave CSHM the early lead when he hit Hunter Bjazevich’s first pitch over the right-field fence for a 1-0 advantage.
The Cardinals made it 2-0 in the inning following singles by Zach Thomas and Rios.
“I knew they were going to give me something to hit,” Jared Thomas said. “I just got on time and it went out.”
Zach Thomas led off the third with a double and scored on a squeeze bunt by Rios for 3-0 lead.
Saavedra took care of the rest.
The sophomore limited Mary Star (7-3, 1-2) to three hits and struck out five in his five-plus innings. He ran into some trouble in the fourth, but pitched his way out of it.
Carlos Vega led off with a single and Mo Magno was hit by a pitch. Both then stole third and second, respectively. But Saavedra induced Joe James to fly out to short right field before he sandwiched a walk to Nathan Trudnich with strikeouts of Kazenoshin Hayashi and Kevin Costa.
“(The mindset) was just to throw strikes,” Saavedra said. “I knew my defense had my back. They were making plays all game long, so I just had to throw strikes.”
CSHM scored a run in the fifth and sixth innings for a 5-0 advantage. Daniel Ordonez got the final four outs, including two strikeouts, to seal the win.
“In my two years here, we had never lost two games in row,” Jared Thomas said. “We’re not used to losing over here, so it was important to get back on track, play our game. We weren’t stressing. We knew we were going to be fine, and we played one of our better games.”