If anyone has any doubt that senior center fielder Jake Suddleson of Harvard-Westlake is one of the most dangerous hitters in the Southland, then remember to look back at what he accomplished on Monday in a Mission League game against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.
Facing junior Hunter Greene, who throws a 96 mph fastball, Suddleson contributed an RBI double and two-run home run. Then he added a three-run home run against reliever Issac Amador. Combined with solid pitching from sophomore Jesse Bergin, Harvard-Westlake came away with a 9-1 win at home over the Knights.
It was a surprising performance for Notre Dame (7-1, 0-1), which suffered its first defeat. Greene hadn't given up a run in 15 innings and only three hits. But he got pulled with two outs in the fifth after giving up six hits. He had retired the first nine batters in order until Paul Gicomazzi led off the fourth with a bloop single.
"All league wins are big," Suddleson said. "I think today it was a good job by us staying with our approach really executing against a guy who's pretty good. Being able to come in and do that at home in the first game of a series is huge for us."
Harvard-Westlake (5-3, 2-2) dropped two of three games last week to Chaminade and faces Notre Dame at Notre Dame on Wednesday and back home on Thursday.
Suddleson signed with Harvard and has hit four home runs this season. He's got excellent power and knows how to wait for his pitch. Greene was throwing him curveballs and changeups and he waited to smash one over the left-field fence.
Bergin finished with five strikeouts, walked one and gave up six hits. John Thomas finished with three hits for the Wolverines. Greene had a triple and single for Notre Dame.