Gillespie, Eagles explode in fourth for 20th win

Auston Gillespie swings at a pitch during Pleasanton’s 11-1 win over Devine on Friday, April 16. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

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 seven-inning 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 one-out 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 two-run 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 follows through on a pitch in Pleasanton’s 11-1 win over Devine on Friday, April 16. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

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.”

Pleasanton will close out the first half of district play on Tuesday, April 20, at home against Somerset.

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