Sheridan Hills Falls Just Short Against Westwood Christian
A strong start got Sheridan Hills off to a promising start Monday as it took a three-run lead early, but the Sharks couldn’t put together an effective effort overall and fell to Westwood Christian, which rallied to win 4-3.
One of the young players who stepped up big for the Warriors was starting pitcher Ruben Quesada. He struggled early on but finally relaxed after a few batters and did a great job for his team. Quesada pitched five innings, struck out seven and gave up four hits to Sheridan Hills.
“He’s inexperienced as you were able to see early on with a few mistakes he made,” Westwood Christian head coach Luis Padron said. “We use this as a learning experience for him because he is a kid we will count on to be a consistent starter for us when he is a junior.”
The Sharks got off to a hot start with a pair of hits in the first inning. Timothy Hardy hit a hard base hit right back up the middle to get things started. Sophomore catcher Jedidiah Wilson came up and drew a walk on four straight pitches. Next up was Christopher Meyer, who gave his team a 3-0 lead with one swing of the bat when he hit a three-run home run to right center field.
“We came out strong, but got a little flat after that,” Sheridan Hills coach Tim Talpesh said. “We need to understand we need to execute when we are at the plate or on the field, and we didn’t do that today for all seven innings.”
Meyer also started the game on the mound for Sheridan Hills Christian. He did a great job keeping batters guessing at the plate and didn’t really allow Westwood to get anything going consistently on offense.
“Meyer came out ready to go right off the bat,” Talpesh said. “He showed a lot of smart pitching and executed well, worked hard and gave a great effort out there.”
The Warriors had their most success against Meyer in the third inning. After two quick strikeouts, Jose Suarez hit a double to right. Anthony Penas was able to drive him in with a single over the second baseman. Westwood tried to take advantage with some runners on base, but Penas got thrown out at home trying to score from second base to end the inning after a base hit from Danny Garcia.
Westwood’s Quesada also got some help from some great defensive plays throughout the game from the outfielders. In the third inning, eighth-grader Luis Padron tracked down a ball that rolled all the way to the fence in center field, and hit his cutoff man was able to throw out the Shark’s Timothy Hardy at third trying to stretch out the double. Then again in the fourth inning, the Warriors’ left fielder, Danny Garcia, threw out Meyer trying to get an extra base on his hit.
Meyer got up in the pitch count as many of Westwood’s batters fouled off lots of pitches. The Sharks brought in Jose Fernandez to relieve Meyer in the sixth. Fernandez got off to a rough start as he gave up a double to Claudio Rubiera and then a two-run home run to Danny Garcia that tied the game at three.
The Warriors also switched pitchers in the sixth inning as they brought in J.C. Cardenas to finish off the game. Cardenas worked through his two innings quickly and did not give up a hit to the Sharks.
Cardenas came up big for Westwood in the bottom of the seventh inning as well. With the game tied, Cardenas got a hold of a pitch and sent it against the fence in right center field for a stand-up double. After Cardenas’ at-bat put him in scoring position, Jose Suarez knew he just needed to put the ball in play. He did just that with a double that drove in Cardenas for the winning run.
“I told the juniors that they needed to step up for the seniors that weren’t able to play in the game because of their trip,” Padron said. “And they responded, and we were able to get the win.”
Sheridan Hills Christian has a key district matchup with Zion Lutheran this afternoon.
“If we go out there for seven innings and play hard tough baseball, we can compete with anybody,” Talpesh said. “We are a solid team and we just need to know that and believe it.”
Westwood Christian will play Island Christian next on Friday afternoon at home.