Hits fall for Jaguars in win over Fisher College
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UHV batters had good reason to bang their heads against the dugout wall. Instead, they kept banging on the baseball.
The Jaguars had eight hits, including four with runners in scoring position, to claim a 6-4 win over Fisher College on Friday afternoon at Riverside Stadium.
"At the beginning of the game, we were starting to hit our heads against the wall going, 'Come on now, this is getting a little ridiculous,'" said UHV coach Terry Puhl. "There were a couple of balls that were just blasted for outs. We finally got a couple of balls that went up the middle."
The Jaguars overcame deficits of 1-0 and 3-2, thanks to some clutch hitting, and improved to 7-16.
"I think we're hitting the ball hard, and we've been doing that for a while; we just can't find any holes," said center fielder Chad Kruse. "Sooner or later, it's got to happen."
Leadoff hitter Dylan Blaha helped make it happen against the Falcons (8-9).
The Weimar graduate doubled and scored in the first inning and reached on an infield single, scoring the go-ahead run in the decisive seventh inning.
"I was trying to hit the ball hard, especially at the beginning of the game," said Blaha, who was 3 for 4 and scored two runs. "I was trying to get on for my team because whenever you get the leadoff runner on, it always leads to good things."
UHV starter Nathan Falkenstine kept his team in the game. He survived a rocky start, which included a two-run home run by Joshua Boyd in the second inning, and had seven strikeouts in seven innings.
"Nathan struggled the first couple of innings and didn't have the arm speed," Puhl said. "Doug (Heinold, UHV's pitching coach) made some adjustments and made him throw the curveball with more arm speed, and it translated to a better fastball, and then he gave us seven good innings."
The Jaguars missed an opportunity to take control in the first inning when they had the bases loaded with one out and scored only two runs.
"In the first inning, we couldn't score more than two runs," Puhl said. "We're sitting there with drunk (loaded) bases and one out, and we can't push another run across with a gale blowing out to left. I was a little hot coming in after the first."
Puhl felt better after the seventh when Blaha led off with an infield hit and worked his way to third before scoring on Kruse's single through a drawn-in infield. The Jaguars added two more runs on a two-out single by Brandon Bohanon.
"I didn't hit it that hard," Kruse said. "That hit is credit to Dylan (Blaha). He did a good job of getting to third base, and because the infield was in, it snuck through."
St. Joseph graduate Andre Del Bosque escaped a jam in the eighth before finishing the game to earn his first save.
"Andre has good stuff," Puhl said. "I'm a believer in Andre's pitching abilities. He's getting arm strength back right now. He's a critical part of our pitching stuff."
NOTES• Fisher College and UHV return to Riverside Stadium on Saturday for a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m.
• Puhl said Nick Huff would start Game 1 of the doubleheader before moving back to the bullpen where he will share closing duties with Del Bosque.
• Puhl said Orlando Quiroga would take Huff's place in the starting rotation.
• Fisher College starting pitcher Jefry Castro hit four batters but walked only one in 6.1 innings.
UHV 6, Fisher College 4
Fisher College 120 000 010 - 4 9 5
UHV 200 30x - 6 8 1
Jefry Castro, Moises Melo-Reyes (7), Christopher Cantu (7) and Sammy Alejandro. Nathan Falkenstine, Andre Del Bosque (8) and Brandon Bohanon, Matt Herrera (8). W: Falkenstine (2-5). L: Castro (1-2). S: Del Bosque (1). Highlights: (FC) Joshua Boyd 1 for 1, 2-run HR; Anthony Peguero 3 for 5; Yuliano Rodriguez 2 for 4, R, RBI. (UHV) Falkenstine 7 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 7 K; Dylan Blaha 3 for 4, 2B, 2 R, RBI; Bohanon 1 for 3, 3 RBIs; Chad Kruse 1 for 4, 2 R, RBI, SB; Josh Ledesma 1 for 2, 2B, R. Records: Fisher College 8-9; UHV 7-16.