Dragons get big hits while Bobcats struggle to score
PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:
Friday was Senior Night at Southwest, but it was the Dragons’ younger players who stole the show.
From sophomore Juan Carlos Hernandez’s first-inning home run to junior Daniel Garcia’s bases-clearing triple to junior Joseph Cerda’s steady pitching throughout, the veritable children led Southwest (11-8-1, 4-2) to the 7-2 District 28-5A win over South San (13-9, 3-3). The seniors, though, made their own subtle contributions to the victory, which gave Southwest a leg up in the race for second place in the district.
“We were on and off the whole first round,” Southwest coach John Velasquez said. “Even though we lost to (South San), we didn’t play that badly. (In the second round), different people have been stepping up all the time. You can’t point to just one guy.”
Hernandez stood out, though, depositing a booming opposite-field drive behind the left-field fence for a 1-0 lead. He finished 2-for-2 with two runs scored.
“I just saw that he put it right down the middle,” Hernandez said. “I had to take it oppo. I had to take one for the team. (The wind) probably helped me out.”
Cerda kept South San in check until the top of the sixth, permitting just two hits. That’s when Tony Hernandez drove in the Bobcats’ first run with a ground out. That came immediately after Garcia relieved Cerda with the bases loaded.
South San mustered one more run when senior John Gamez singled and scored in the seventh. The Bobcats lost their third-straight game.
“For a while, we were winning big games,” South San coach Robert Zamora said. “Now, we’re losing big games. This is a team game, but when one individual doesn’t make a play or get a hit with guys on base, it’s difficult to get it done.”
Southwest bolstered its lead to 4-0 in the fourth with a rally that began when Hernandez and senior Durann Patino drew walks and Cerda laid down a bunt single. The Dragons effectively put the game away with three more runs in the fifth as Hernandez produced the only hit.
The Dragons won their third-consecutive game. Southwest is tied for second place with Corpus Christi King (11-5, 4-2) , while South San fell to fourth.
“I wanted to get the win for our seniors,” Garcia said, “and especially for Cerda.”
MORE TO COME