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March 27, 2012 > Mission San Jose Baseball Splits Two Games in Final Tune Up

Mission San Jose Baseball Splits Two Games in Final Tune Up

By Ed Hugo

The Mission San Jose (MSJ) varsity baseball team split two games in their final tune up prior to the MVAL season which began March 28. MSJ lost its first game of the season dropping a one-run game to Freedom before bouncing back to defeat Pittsburg 8-3.

Freedom became the first team to beat MSJ squeaking out a 4-3 victory as they rallied to score the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Freedom jumped out to an early 3-0 lead scoring a single run in the second inning and tallying twice in the third. After giving up the three runs, MSJ starter Brandon Facha settled in and shut down the Freedom bats over the next three innings to give his teammates a chance to rally and get back into the game. Facha retired the side in order in the fourth and fifth innings and then worked some magic as he pitched out of a bases loaded, no-out jam in the sixth. He struck out two batters and ended the inning by inducing a routine ground ball to MSJ second baseman Jake Walter.

After being held to one hit in the first four innings, the MSJ bats came alive in the fifth as they scored two runs to cut Freedom's lead to 3-2. Scott Havard's one-out double drove in Reid Marion who had walked and moved Jeff Chu up to third base. Walter then drove home Chu with an infield ground ball. MSJ tied the game in the top of the sixth inning as Patrick Andresen lined a sharp double and Brandon Fuhs followed Andresen with a solid base hit.

With the score 3-3 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, Freedom loaded the bases against MSJ relief pitcher Kyle Welker with one out. Havard came on to relieve Welker but walked the next batter to force in the winning run.

MSJ got back into the win column beating Pittsburg 8-3 behind a complete game performance by starter Chris Donoghue. The 6'5" righty needed just 82 pitches to claim the victory. The first two innings were quiet before MSJ jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the third. After loading the bases on three consecutive walks to open the inning, it appeared the Pittsburg pitcher might pitch his way out of trouble as he struck out the next two MSJ batters. But MSJ's Devon Jones came through as he hit a two-run single to get MSJ on the board. The MSJ Warriors scored their third run of the inning as Wyatt Ott ran in from third base as Jones induced the Pittsburg pitcher to balk.

MSJ's lead was short lived as Pittsburg came right back with three runs of their own as the MSJ defense committed their only two errors of the game (both coming on a single play) in the middle of the three-run rally. But MSJ retaliated with two runs of their own in the top of the fourth inning as Havard came through with a two-out, two-run single. MSJ provided Donoghue with insurance runs in the sixth and seventh inning to provide the final five-run margin. Havard drove in his third run of the game in MSJ's two-run sixth inning rally and Patrick Yang lofted a sacrifice fly to plate the final MSJ run in the seventh.

After its successful preseason, MSJ begins the MVAL regular season with a home game against Logan on March 28 and a game at Irvington on March 30.

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