Stallions topple Bulldogs with 9-7 Win

Stallions starter Leo Hoffer delivers a strike. (Ed Berti)
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Bryce Gorospe beats out an infield hit as Nick Kuebler advances to third. Butler’s Grayson Chesser tries to gun Kuebler down. (Ed Berti)
Strategy meeting on the mound. (Ed Berti)
Butlers Travis Ziefert about ready to pound a grounder with Michael Rich behind the dish for Stallions. (Ed Berti)

The Queens Grant High School baseball program took a giant leap into getting the recognition they deserve when the Stallions defeated the Butler Bulldogs recently.

Head Coach Dan Kerr and his coaching staff have put together a solid baseball club who can compete at a high level.  The team is well coached on the fundamentals, they have an above average pitching staff, they can hit the ball with power, they can bunt, steal bases, play good defense and have a strong desire to win.  The team has a “can do” attitude and it showed when they upset a 4A large school team 9-7 at home.

“We have been waiting for a big win like this to help legitimize all the hard work we’ve put in,” said coach Kerr.  He further said,  The guys on both sides play together in the Summer, so there is a rivalry between them to see who will come out on top.  I thought the boys played a tough game defensively and made the big plays when it counted.  Offensively, we did exactly what we needed to accomplish in timely situations.”

The coach is absolutely correct, the boys executed a perfect squeeze play in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead over the Bulldogs.  In the first and third pickle play the Duran brothers executed it to perfection in the fifth inning.  The Stallions were able to tie the game at 4-4 at this juncture.

In the top half of the fifth inning Butler scored 2 runs on 3 hits, including an error to take the lead 4-3.  However, the Stallions scored 6 runs in the home half to take a 9-4 lead.  The big blows came off the bats of Michael Ritch with a bases loaded clearing doubled for three big RBI’s, after a base hit to score Ritch, left handed swinging Jacob Beard rocketed a line drive one hop off the center field wall for two more RBI’s including the winning runs of the ball game for the Stallions.

In the top half of the sixth the Bulldogs bounced back with some nifty hitting themselves including two doubles to tighten the gap to 9-7.  They scored three runs on 4 hits in the inning to keep within striking distance.

In the bottom half of the sixth inning the Stallions had an opportunity to gain an insurance run and fell short.  In the top of the seventh and final inning Butler was able to put runners on first and third with one out.  However, a  ball hit in the infield the Stallions were able to pull-off a very nice double play, by gunning down the Bulldog runner trying to score from third to end the ball game.

Offensively, the Stallions Spencer Smith went 1-2, 2 runs, RBI, stolen base, Jacob Beard 1-3, triple, 2 RBI’s, steal, Nick Kuebler, 1-2, double, 1 RBI, Alwin Duran, 1-3, 2 RBI’s, 2 steals, Michael Ritch, 1-2, with 3 RBI’s.

Leo Hoffer pitched 5.2 innings for the Stallions, against a good hitting team.  He allowed 9 hits, 5 earned runs, 3 base on balls and had 5 strikeouts.  Bryce Gorospe pitched the remainder of the game in relief and allowed 3 hits to get the save.  While Hoffer was rewarded with the win.

The Bulldogs dropped their overall record to 4-6 on the season, and remain 4-3 in their conference.  While the Stallions improve their overall record to 7-3, and remain 5-2 in the PAC 7 1A Conference.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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