Baseball: All-Star experience pays off for Hollister in win

Major National All-Star Nicholas Christian gets Scotts Valley out at second during their game in the section tournament Saturday in Los Gatos.

After a bad hop on a ground ball turned into a 3-run Scotts Valley double and a lost Hollister lead in Saturday’s first round Section 5 tournament game in Los Gatos, All-Star manager Dave Marquez turned to six players with tournament experience.

And they responded.

Thanks to a couple of defensive miscues from Scotts Valley and great baserunning by the experienced Mason Marquez and Ryan Quinby, Hollister took back the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning to stay in the winner’s bracket Saturday with a 5-4 win.

“Something was bound to go our way,” Dave Marquez said. “We never really had a break and our kids were hustling when we needed to hustle. The kids fought hard. They played well and obviously we got the win.”

Unlike Scotts Valley, who made four pitching changes in five innings, Hollister stuck with their ace Tyler Triano throughout the game’s six innings.

At times, Triano was unhittable for Hollister, striking out six batters and allowing only one extra-base hit.

“(We were in) a little dog fight there,” Dave Marquez said. “The way we look at it, our No. 1 has to go the end. We can’t be switching pitchers out. We have to go get the win. Tyler did a great job on the mound.”

At the plate, Hollister struck early by scoring one run in the first inning. With one out Mason Marquez doubled on a line drive that bounced over the right-center field wall. Three batters later – after a walk and an error – Quinby knocked in Marquez for the 1-0 lead.

Quinby and Marquez – both members of last year’s 11-12 Section 5 runner-ups – played a big part in Hollister’s first and fifth inning rallies. Overall, the six returnees all played key parts in the win, Dave Marquez said.

“Six of them have experience from last year,” he said. “They know what it takes to win. I’m sure they still have a bad taste from last year so they have that in the back of their heads.”

The six players learned how to win from last year’s older teammates, said Triano, who is also one of the six returnees.

“It helps us because we played with the older 12-years-old,” Triano said. “They helped us and they were better than us. Now we are better. It pumps us up to be better. We just need to keep on hitting the ball, pitching and catching. Everything.”

And they needed that experience in the fifth inning. In the “scary” frame, Triano walked the Scotts Valley lead-off hitter. After a strikeout, a walk and another single, Scotts Valley loaded the bases with only one out.

With Hollister clinging to a 3-1 lead, Scotts Valley pitcher Jack Kastner hit a hard groundball to second that leapt over the Hollister defender’s head and rolled all the way to the wall.

It was the first time Hollister trailed.

“It was scary, so scary,” Triano said.

Hollister, though, responded after Marquez walked to open the bottom of the inning. The speedster stole second but stayed there until two outs were recorded. On a 2-1 pitch, Quinby hit a pop up to third base. The Scotts Valley defender lost the ball, allowing Marquez to score from second. A batter later, Garret Bourdet knocked in Quinby, who was at second base, to give Hollister the lead right back.

“It was awesome,” Triano said. “It was pretty scary at the end but I’m glad to have my teammates. They are good players. I was happy. When the kid dropped it at third base, it pumped us up. (When) we scored the tying run, it pumped up us all up. It was so good. We are so happy. I can’t explain it.”

Hollister played Quilto on Monday. Look online for an update.

Hollister 11-10

The Hollister National team lost a extra-inning heartbreaker 7-6 to Almaden North in the first round of the Section 5 tournament in San Jose on Saturday.

Through six innings, Hollister and Almaden battled to a 6-6 tie to force extra innings.

“We played a tight game,” manager Blair Biersdorff said.

The two teams traded runs in the first inning, as Hollister’s Brady Miguel pitched well. Miguel and Harris combined for Hollister’s first-inning run on an RBI single by Harris.

Hollister, though, could never get the big hit and took their only lead in the fourth inning on four runs from singles by Miguel and Nathaniel Garcia.

Almaden, though, responded with three runs in the top of the fifth to retake the lead. Hollister tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Jordan Yeager – who finished with two hits – scored on a past ball.

Almaden won the game in the top of the seventh after a lead-off double. With the loss, Hollister played Santa Cruz American on Monday. Look online for an update.

Hollister 10-9

Hollister was stunned Sunday in the first round of the Section 5 All-Star tournament in Gonzales, losing to Los Gatos 15-11 despite holding a 10-1 lead in the third inning.

Behind the arm of starter Donnovan McAbee and bats of Kenny Moore and Alex Casarez, Hollister quickly built a 6-0 lead after the first inning.

Moore opened the contest with a solo home run to spark Hollister, manager Richard McAbee said.

“We started off hitting the ball really well and we were pitching well,” he said. “And then they started fighting back.”

The Los Gatos comeback started after Hollister pulled McAbee because of his pitch count, manager Richard McAbee said.

“We were comfortable with the lead we had,” McAbee said. “We felt confident.”

Miscues and a lack of late-game hitting cost the Hollister American team, McAbee said. The loss sends Hollister into the elimination bracket where they played Monday. Look online for an update.

Leave your comments