Baseball: Matadors on four game win streak after victory over Monterey HS


Pranav Iyer

After a short turnover period between the Matadors’ 2-1 victory at Monterey HS on Friday night, they had to get suited up for another battle the next day, this time on their home turf. They had head coach Nick Bonacorsi back after a week’s leave, and their offense was clicking, as the Matadors came out on top 7-4 on Saturday Apr. 4.

Junior Matthew Hui is hit in the head by a pitch. This play helped fuel the Matadors big sixth inning. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

With the game tied 4-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Matadors’ rally was jump-started when junior Matthew Hui was hit in the head by a pitch. The next batter, senior Tim Iwamoto, singled, sending Hui to second. The Toreadors decided to yank Yuwen Chen from the game after facing just two batters and replaced him with Gamaliel Ramirez. The pitching change turned out to further hurt Toreadores as MVHS sophomore Brendan Hughes was able to hit his second extra base hit of the game, scoring both Hui and Iwamoto to give the Matadors a 5-4 lead. Continuing the big hitting was senior Kevin Nordby, who blasted a double, scoring Hughes. One more pitching change for the Toreadors, the fourth different pitcher of the inning, got the Matadors bench to chuckle and senior Sam Nastari to blurt out “Again?”

“I think it was a confidence boost for us because every time they switched pitchers, we knew we were one step ahead of them,” Hughes said.

Senior Kevin Nordby cheers on senior Tim Iwamoto on his way to score. The Matadors were able to capitalize on having base runners, something they struggled with before. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

The Matadors offense was not just hot late in the game, as they were the ones who took the early lead, with Nastari scoring the first run of the game from third on a wild pitch.

“We did really well on using the other team’s errors,” Nastari said. “We built off of that and made them feel even worse about what they were doing and we used that energy to smack big hits.”

In the third inning, runners just kept getting on after a Hughes double. The Matadors then played strong small ball. First, a single by Nordby just out of the reach of the Toreadors’ shortstop’s mit. Then after a sacrifice bunt, another single and a stolen base, there were runners on second and third. A single by senior Sheldon McClelland brought home Nordby to push the Matadors’ lead to three. However, the Toreadores did strand two base runners and were able to get two straight outs to get out of the inning.

After 3.1 innings pitched, sophomore Jared Slater was replaced by Nordby at pitcher. Although it was a rough day for him at the mound, he did manage to strike out three batters. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

“We’ve been in a situation all season long where we have had the base runners,” Bonacorsi said. “it’s just finding the timely hits that score them. In previous games we haven’t had these big hits but those extra base hits are what score big innings for us.”

The Matadors didn’t maintain their lead for long — in the top of the fourth, things fell apart for sophomore Jared Slater at the mound. He gave up a double, a single and four straight walks, allowing three runs to come across the plate for the Toreadors, tying up the game at three.

But the Matadors didn’t lose their composure and again were able to capitalize on a Toreador mistake, as Iwamoto scored due to an error on a double play attempt at first. The Matador defense then went on to allow just one more run to come across the plate for the remainder of the game, with the offense fueling them to the victory.

Bouncing back from heartbreaking loss to the Santa Clara Bruins just three games ago, the Matadors feel that they are playing at the highest level they have been all season

“We’ve won our past three games,” Nastari said. “So we have a lot of good energy going into the games and were confident in what we can do.”

The Matadors extended their winning streak to 5 as they defeated Fremont HS on Tuesday, Apr. 7  in league play by a score of 3-0, with Nordby and Kumaraguru combining to pitch a no-hitter.