Nordhoff diamondmen crush Cardinals, 8-1
By Jesse Phelps
This one was over practically before it
began. In a Frontier League matchup between Nordhoff and Santa
Paula, Ranger third baseman Ian Le Clere powered two home runs
over the left field fence, including a first inning grand slam,
to propel Nordhoff to a dominating 8-1 victory.
Nordhoff knocked Santa Paula starting pitcher Anthony Bavero
out of the game after he faced just two hitters. Third baseman
Breal Rowe lined a fastball back at the mound and off Bavero's
back for an infield single and Bavero immediately headed to the
His replacement, John Ramirez, retired one batter before hitting
Nordhoff right fielder Josh Catlett and yielding a single to
catcher Ronnie Bush.
That brought up Le Clere, who knocked a pitch well over the fence
for his first career grand slam and first home run of the year.
Nordhoff scored twice more two innings later on La Clere's second
long ball of the game.
With one out, Bush doubled - his sixth consecutive hit over two
games - to set up his teammate.
Le Clere said he almost didn't make it to the game. "The
funny thing was, it was a minimum day (at school) and I went
home and fell asleep," he said. "When I woke up I had
to call coach and tell him I was going to be late. But today
I was just seeing the ball well."
After the second home run, Nordhoff led 6-1. From there, the
game was in the hands of sophomore starting pitcher Jacob Orozco,
and he didn't disappoint. Orozco provided five strikeouts over
a seven-inning complete game victory.
Nordhoff coach Matt Cresto praised his young starter for a well-pitched
outing. "He did a good job of spotting up and worked his
curve in real well. He threw strikes for us today."
Nordhoff tallied two more runs before the day was over but Cresto
conceded that the game was won on the bat of Le Clere. "He
finally came out of it," Cresto said. "He'd been ina
little bit of a slump. But he was hitting the ball well today
and producing with runners in scoring position. He shortened
up his swing some."
Le Clere and the rest of the suddenly scorching hot Rangers play
next on Saturday at the Crecenta Valley tournament.
The Ojai Valley News
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