Photos by Mike Lemberger
On Wednesday afternoon, the baseball team defeated the Gunn Titans by a score of 11-5.
Junior Noah Whittaker started out pitching for the Bears and dominated from the get-go.
In reference to his great outing, Whittaker said, “Having trust in myself and my teammates makes the job easy.”
He got out of the bottom of the first inning with two strikeouts and a walk, mainly relying on his fastball and curveball throughout the game.
In the top of the second inning, the Bears got it going and never looked back. After Whittaker got on with a walk and junior catcher Trevor Heinz got a single, a bevy of Titan mistakes gave the Bears a huge advantage. After a wild pitch, runner advancement on a dropped third strike, a bad decision on a grounder with a force at home, and a balk, the Bears were up 2-0.
With the bases loaded up after a couple errors and walks, senior outfielder Davis Phillips helped extend the lead with another walk before junior outfielder Luke Durden beat out a grounder to score yet another run, making the game 4-0 after the top half of the second inning.
With M-A back on defense, Whittaker continued to deal. He struck out three more batters in the second before striking out two in the third inning. He finished with two walks, no hits, and seven total strikeouts over three innings.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Bears got back at it on offense. Sophomore shortstop Will Roberts got things started with a walk and a stolen base. He scored on a hit from sophomore third baseman Jimmy Zaharias before Zaharias was thrown out at second base, making the score 5-0.
After another run had come in from more timely hitting and patient plate appearances, junior Harrison Long opened the game up with a double into the gap that scored two runs and extended the Bears’ lead to 8-0. The Bears tacked on one more run when junior outfielder Shaun Pagee drove in Long.
On the big hit, Long said, “I was struggling in my earlier at bats so I knew I needed a big hit. The other guys did their job and got on base. I just had to drive them in.”
Afterward, Long moved from first base to pitcher, and in one inning of work, he surrendered two runs with three strikeouts.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Bears added even more insurance to their large lead, adding a run after a Phillips double scored Roberts. Then when the Titans walked in another run with the bases loaded, they left the score 11-2 after the half inning.
Junior James Gray and senior Ben Peterson finished the game off in the last two innings, with Gray giving up one run and Peterson giving up two before the game was called in the sixth inning because it got too dark outside.
The Bears move to 3-1 on the season and will return to the field on Saturday to take on the Mountain View Spartans.