Story by Amber Chen
Photo by Katelyn Hernandez
The baseball team destroyed San Gabriel, 12-0, in the preseason opener on Friday, Feb. 21. The Tigers snatched a 3-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back, earning a victory on the mercy rule.
Sophomore DJ Pearson as pitcher easily struck out San Gabriel at the top of the first inning.
Junior Dillon Hugasian started the Tigers off on bat at the bottom of the first inning. He hit a single, then stole second, and balked to third before junior Nicholas Schroeder brought him home. Another balk from an inexperienced Matador pitcher and two home runs from junior Manny Chavez and senior Samuel Luna-Long later, and the Tigers ended the first inning in a 3-0 lead.
Meanwhile, sophomore pitcher Devin Pearson consistently struck out San Gabriel within minutes, quickly getting the South Pas defense off the field.
In the third inning, the Tigers rattled off seven runs. Junior Pablo Guerrero hit a triple and a Luna-Long RBI started the South Pas scoring onslaught. The team continued with home runs from Luna-Long, Chavez, junior Isaac Sharp, junior Noah Takeda Teer, Pearson, and Hugasian. By the end of the inning, the score was a comfortable 10-0.
Sophomore Jack Riffle and Guerrero followed up with two more runs and after the Matadors struck out once more in the fifth inning without scoring, the mercy rule put the Tigers at an early victory, 12-0.
“We executed the routine plays and took advantage of mistakes early on in the game,” Guerrero said. “We hit the ball well and it all came together for the win.”
The Tigers will look to carry the momentum from this blowout win against Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday, Feb. 25.