When All-Southern Section pitcher Jason Edwards went down earlier this week with a sore shoulder, the Hart High baseball team could have gone down with him.
But because Keith Halcovich has offered a shoulder to lean on, Edwards’ shoulder hasn’t been cried on.
Halcovich yielded only five singles in his first varsity start as Hart defeated Long Beach Jordan, 14-0, at Hart on Friday in the first round of the El Segundo tournament.
Halcovich, a 6-foot-5 sophomore starting in Edwards’ place, struck out three of the first four batters he faced and six in the game and did not allow a walk.
“He did a great job tonight,” Hart assistant Pete Calzia said. “He had a big performance. He knew we don’t have a number one pitcher anymore and he came out and did a number one job.”
Halcovich’s timing could not have been better. According to Calzia, Edwards could have bone chips or a pulled or strained tendon in his shoulder. Edwards worked 82 innings for Hart and a Colt League team that won the World Series last summer.
“His arm is tired,” Calzia said.
Edwards, whose injury doesn’t hinder his batting, will visit a shoulder specialist Thursday, Calzia said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets clearance,” Coach Bud Murray said. “He’ll be back. He’ll be back unless they cut his arm off.”
Hart scored 10 runs in the first three innings on eight hits and seven walks. Edwards, starting at designated-hitter, knocked in two runs with a double and Jay Sanford, Lance Migita and Casey Burrill each added run-scoring singles in Hart’s six-run third inning.
Meanwhile, Halcovich baffled Jordan with his changeup and fastball and faced only 18 batters in the first five innings. Halcovich allowed two hits in the sixth but escaped without giving up a run.
Hart loaded the bases in the first inning after two quick outs and Chris Vasquez sent Jordan center fielder Roger Neal to the wall with the apparent third out. But Neal dropped the ball at the wall, allowing three runs to score.
“I was kinda nervous but the three runs in the first took a lot of pressure off me,” Halcovich said.