Hitting in the clutch with two outs has been a problem for the Hoover High baseball team. It wasn’t in last Friday’s 9-2 win over Venice in the L.A. Poly Tournament as the Tornadoes tallied seven runs with two out.
Hoover, which won two and lost two in the Southern California Invitational, had junior pitcher Luis Zamora work a complete game, the first in his career, while striking out five.
Venice (1-4) had a one-run lead twice before the Tornadoes erupted for five runs with two out in the fourth inning. Fidel Hernandez’s three-run homer to left-center was the key blow that made it 6-2.
When Joshiah Destin singled in the second inning the Gondoliers led 1-0, but the Tornadoes (3-2) came back with a run in the bottom of the frame on Kenny Garcia’s two-out hit.
Venice moved ahead 2-1 in the third, but a scoring grounder by J.P. Gallegos tied it at 2-2. Hoover then exploded for five runs in the fourth inning, including Zamora’s single that made it 3-2.
A squeeze bunt in the fifth by Scott Yzarnotegui made it 7-2, Gallegos’ run-scoring hit gave Hoover an 8-2 advantage, and Hernandez’s single made it 9-2.
In another game, Crescenta Valley seemed snake-bitten over the final three frames as the Falcons failed to muster a run and lost a 3-2 decision to Etiwanda in the Dick’s Tournament at Stengel Field.
The Falcons (3-2) stranded six runners, including four in scoring position across the final three innings, and left nine runners on base.
The Falcons did have an opportunity in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, CV filled the bases after receiving three walks and one out, but pitcher Aaron Sheridan, who went the distance, fanned the next two batters.
In the sixth, the Falcons again loaded the bases. Joe Torres was safe on a bunt, but the Eagles (3-2) turned in a double play and the inning ended with a ground out.
CV scored two runs in the second on Torres’ grounder, and Ryan Lynch’s sacrifice bunt plated Austin Brines.