Baseball: Slater’s one-hitter leads Matadors past Independence HS

Senior+Ryan+Granzella+connects+on+a+pitch+against+Independence+HS+on+March+29.+The+Matadors+were+hot+for+much+of+game%2C+as+they+finished+the+game+with+six+runs.+Photo+by+Pranav+Iyer.+
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Baseball: Slater’s one-hitter leads Matadors past Independence HS

Senior Ryan Granzella connects on a pitch against Independence HS on March 29. The Matadors were hot for much of game, as they finished the game with six runs. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

Senior Ryan Granzella connects on a pitch against Independence HS on March 29. The Matadors were hot for much of game, as they finished the game with six runs. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

Senior Ryan Granzella connects on a pitch against Independence HS on March 29. The Matadors were hot for much of game, as they finished the game with six runs. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

Senior Ryan Granzella connects on a pitch against Independence HS on March 29. The Matadors were hot for much of game, as they finished the game with six runs. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

Pranav Iyer

When senior Ryan Granzella stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the third, sophomore Jarrett James had just rounded the bases to put MVHS up 2-0. The Independence High School pitcher lobbed a slow pitch and Granzella capitalized with a hard hit down left centerfield. With the IHS outfielder in position to make the catch, Granzella started slow around the bases. But when he misjudged the catch and the ball hit the fence, the bleachers erupted as Granzella hit a triple, the furthest hit for the Matadors at a home game in a season. This was all part of a 6-0 romping of IHS and a complete game one-hitter by junior pitcher Jared Slater on Mar. 29.

“It’s one of the my better outings,” Slater said. “I think it’s the only complete game I’ve had in the past two years.”

Senior Ryan Granzella connects on a pitch against Independence HS on March 29. The Matadors were hot for much of game, as they finished the game with six runs. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

Senior Ryan Granzella connects on a pitch against Independence HS on March 29. The Matadors were hot for much of game, as they finished the game with six runs. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

Coming off a convincing 11-5 win over the 76ers last year, the Matadors were confident coming into this seasons’ matchup. Despite their offense not being able to put up double digits again, they more than made up for that with a defensive shutout. From the get go, Slater was in command on the mound, causing several 1-2-3 innings and frequent strikeouts. This prevented the 76ers from gaining any momentum whatsoever and, at the same time, gave fuel for the Matador offense to light fire early and often.

Junior Peter Chavez, who had an awkwardly slow pitching speed, started off the game on the mound for IHS. However, instead of seeing this pitching abnormality as an obstacle, they saw it as something to take advantage of. Right off the bat, leadoff hitter senior Matt Li got on base with a single straight up the middle and then proceeded to steal second. Following a single by sophomore Josh Huang, Li found his way home off of a wild pitch to put the first score on the board in the bottom of the first.

In the third, the MVHS batters continued to beat down on Chavez. Due to great patience in the batter’s box and smart base running, the Matadors were able to tack on four more runs to take full control of the game and extend their lead to five.

Junior Jared Slater winds up before a pitch against Independence HS on March 29. He threw a complete game no-hitter to propel the Matadors to a victory. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

Junior Jared Slater winds up before delivering a pitch. He threw a complete game no-hitter to propel the Matadors to a victory. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

 

 

Although it seemed for a bit that down the stretch, Slater was burning out, he stuck his foot strong if the mound and found a way to finish the game. He just allowed one hit and threw seven strikeouts, to get the win and show promise in the Matador’s pitching going forward.
“We just have to build off of here,” Slater said. “We played a really good game offensively and defensively. Maybe just stay back a little bit more, but were on the right track.