The Pleasanton Eagles were explosive in the fourth inning to pick up their 20th win of the season.
Pleasanton (20-6, 3-0) beat Devine 11-1 in five innings on Friday, April 16. The Eagles scored 10 runs in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. Diego Luna drove in the go-ahead run on an RBI single.
It’s the first time Pleasanton has had 20 wins since the 2013 team won 25 games. It was also the Eagles’ fifth consecutive win.
“The little thing that helped me out today was seeing … we were down 1-0 and we were catching a couple line drives [for outs],” Head Coach Lance Standley said. “You start worrying about this young team holding it together, if they’re gonna start panicking. What I was proud of was they didn’t. They stayed within themselves and realized it’s a seveninning game.”
Senior catcher Auston Gillespie delivered the dagger two-run triple with one out to help Pleasanton storm back after allowing a run in the top of the first inning. He also had the game-tying RBI on a sacrifice fly in the third.
Gillespie wasn’t looking for a big hit, he just wanted any kind of hit to keep the pressure on the Warhorse defense and maybe score a run.
“I wasn’t looking for anything big. I just wanted to shorten up my swing and pop something to the outfield,” Gillespie said. “I was just looking for another sac-fly to get a 2-1 lead and help our pitcher [Tanner Hollis].”
Gillespie finished the game 1-for-2 with three RBIs. Standley was proud to see his senior battery step up to spark the oneout rally for the Eagles.
“I was hurting after the Hondo game because he stayed back on their great pitcher and hit a shot to the first baseman,” Standley said. “I went home saying, ‘Dang, I wish Auston got that RBI. Dang, he’s done so good.’ Then when he got that triple, I just saw the smile on his face and I was just so happy. I looked at him and went, ‘You needed that.’ He goes, ‘I sure did.’”
Pleasanton was also spurred along by a tworun error hit by Ty Hehman in the fourth inning. Sean Ramos also delivered a pair of RBIs for the Eagles during that 10-run explosion.
Tanner Hollis was the pitcher of record for the Eagles, pitching four innings and allowing one run on three hits with a strikeout.
Friday’s win came in front of a packed house and players from the Pleasanton Little League in attendance. Standley and the Eagles enjoyed the atmosphere they brought, and spent time talking to the future Eagles after the game.
“Again, the fans were amazing,” Standley said. “The Little League kids came out and we got to talk with them after the game. That’s huge for us, seeing fans cheering for us.”
The Pleasanton Eagles kept their win streak going on Tuesday, April 13.
Pleasanton beat the Hondo Owls 1-0 thanks to superb defense.
Jayce Krauskopf’s run in the bottom of the fourth inning put the Eagles on the board for the win. The RBI was credited to Tanner Hollis, whose fly ball to right field helped Krauskopf score.
“I don’t think we had one error,” Hollis said. “We hit great, put the ball in play and that’s what championship teams do.”
Pitcher Max Sauceda had a great game, allowing zero runs, two hits, striking out six, and walking none in seven innings pitched to pick up the win.
Ty Hehman led the Eagles in hits, going 2-for- 3 at the plate.
Auston Gillespie had seven chances on the field. Hollis also did well, playing clean and quick defense.
The Eagles played an error-free game on defense against a tough Hondo team that entered the game tied with Pleasanton in the district standings.
“I’m proud of our defense. They did really well in a tight situation, especially a bunch of young kids. They made some great plays, too,” said Head Coach Lance Standley. “Tanner made two in the seventh inning after he probably swung at a pitch that he shouldn’t have. So, that’s rebounding from adversity, and that’s what you gotta do in baseball, and that’s what you gotta do in life.”
With district still continuing and the team’s performance improving, the Eagles are ready to take on their next opponents.
“These kids really haven’t had a lot of experience. We have two kids that have played a district ball game, so this is all new to them,” Standley said. “We’ve been training to be ready every game, and I think they’ll be ready.”
Pleasanton will begin the second half of district play on Tuesday, April 20, at home against Somerset.