Baseball: Matadors edge SCHS to make it three straight wins

Baseball%3A+Matadors+edge+SCHS+to+make+it+three+straight+wins

Malini Ramaiyer

In the bottom of the sixth, the score was tied at two and the Matadors had two outs.

Facing Santa Clara High School, the top team in the league, MVHS had expected a tough game. And on March 31, a tough game is what they got. Sophomore Josh Huang, however, stepped up to the plate and brought home senior Ryan Granzella with a single. The Matadors pulled ahead of SCHS by one run in this inning, setting the final score of the game at 3-2.

This game marked the third win in a row for the Matadors, following a three game losing streak to build their record up to 7-7.

“My expectations were exactly what happened,” head coach Nick Bonacorsi said. “Every time we play Santa Clara, it’s close, it’s hard fought and that’s pretty much how this game played out.”

Neither team allowed the other any runs in the first two innings; however, the game picked up speed in the third inning. Senior Andrew Ding started the

Michael Brown rounds the bases as the Matadors took on the Bruins on March 31st. Early on the bruins offense was clicking, which allowed them to get out to an early lead.
Michael Brown rounds the bases as the Matadors took on the Bruins on March 31st. Early on the bruins offense was clicking, which allowed them to get out to an early lead. Photo by Pranav Iyer

game pitching and as Bonacorsi explained, the Bruins began to understand and anticipate the nature of Ding’s pitches. With this understanding, SCHS was able to scrap two RBI singles, scoring two runs in the top of the third.

The Matadors decreased the gap with a run by Ding and the bottom of the third ended with a score of 2-1. At the start of the fourth, Bonacorsi made a key pitching change that determined the pace of the next four innings. Senior Surya Kumaraguru stepped in for Ding and immediately pitched a 1-2-3 inning.

“Those are good outings for him, to get his confidence up and going,” Bonacorsi said. “He’s going to be one of the best pitchers in the league once his arm is completely healthy.”

Kumaraguru is used to starting as pitcher, so he explained that coming in as relief was new to him. Nevertheless, he was in his element on the mound and showed it during his performance against SCHS.

“Once I was back out there, it was just back to what I was doing,” Kumaraguru said. “Going back there was just in a sense, coming back home.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 12.57.27 PM
Head coach Nick Bonacorsi decided to make a pitching change in the fourth inning. After the change, SCHS was unable to get a single batter home for the remainder of the game. Photo by Pranav Iyer

The score remained stagnant through the fourth inning and the top of the fifth as both teams’ pitchers heightened their game. The Matadors started off the bottom of the fifth with two strikeouts, but sophomore Jarrett James broke the cold streak with a single into right field.

Later, James scored MVHS’ second run with a RBI double by Huang, tieing the score at two. Kumaraguru continued his solid pitching with another 1-2-3 inning and the nerves built up as the score remained 2-2.

Entering the bottom of the sixth, the Matadors knew that they just had to stick to their game plan and things would work out.

“Clean baseball,” Bonacorsi said. “We got guys on base, we were able to push them over and then timely hitting.”

And the Matadors did play clean baseball. Granzella began the bottom of the sixth with a single. Kumaraguru got a walk, pushing Granzella to second. SCHS makes a pitching change. Ding hits a single — Granzella’s on third. Huang hit a single and Granzella scored.

The top of the seventh finished as soon as it started. Despite the loud calls and jeers from the SCHS dugout, Kumaraguru braved through and didn’t allow the Bruins any runs and the Matadors won 3-2.

“We feel good right now. We’re playing the brand of baseball I knew we were capable of at the start,” Bonacorsi said. “So it’s good for because it gives us that confidence moving into another week in league.”