Aaron Berglund and Andrew Yu combined for seven solid innings on the mound and were instrumental in adding two insurance runs on offense in the final frame as the St. Francis boys' baseball team defeated Harvard-Westlake, 7-4, in the Mission League opener on Tuesday at Franklin Field.
Despite stranding eight runners on base and committing two key errors early on, the Knights (5-1 overall, 1-0 in league) relied upon timely scoring and solid late game pitching to prevent the Wolverines (1-4-1, 0-1) from taking advantage of St. Francis' miscues.
â€œWe got some pretty good pitching today and we hit the ball OK,â€ St. Francis Head Coach Brian Esquival said.
The Wolverines had a chance to take the lead in the third inning when Berglund loaded the bases by throwing a wild pitch, hitting a batter, allowing a base on balls and giving up a single. However, he got out of the jam when Sam Katz hit a pop-up to first baseman Mark Saatzer to end the inning. Harvard-Westlake never threatened afterward, hitting the ball just twice in the final four innings.
Team ace Berglund lasted just four innings as starting pitcher, giving up four runs (one unearned), four hits and two walks. He also threw a wild pitch in the third inning, hit three batters and committed an error trying to pick off a Harvard-Westlake base-runner.
However, the Knights calmed down in the fourth inning and got two insurance runs in the seventh inning when Yu's one-out triple scored James Bonds to give St. Francis a 6-4 lead.
Pinch-hitter Jefferson Nolan's well-placed bunt down the first base line allowed Yu to score from third on a squeeze play in the next at-bat to extend the Knight lead to 7-4.