In a battle between the premier teams in District 10-2A, Archbishop Hannan defeated Northlake Christian 5-1 on Tuesday at Mula Family Field.
The first of three games between the teams this week, Hannan (10-4, 1-0) will welcome Northlake Christian (11-4, 0-1) Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
The Hawks broke through for three first-inning runs. With one out, Quinn Heinold doubled and shortstop Dale St. John singled. Heinold scored when Nick Lagalante reached on an error and a RBI single by first baseman Andrew Barre scored St. John to make it 2-0. Lagalante scored on the second error of the inning to make it 3-0.
That’s all the scoring Hannan right-hander Jordan Gonzalez (3-1) needed. The junior allowed three hits in 5.2 innings, striking out six and walking three.
“I knew they were throwing their ace (Sean Tweedy), but I wasn’t worried,” Gonzalez said. “I have been doing this for a long time. I just wanted to come out here tonight and do what I needed to do to help my team win. I kind of knew from the beginning I had good stuff out there (on the mound) tonight. I get really nervous, but, once I get out there on the hill, all that goes away.
“After that first inning, I’m just in my zone. Having my team give me a three-run lead before I have to throw a pitch helped things tremendously. It took all the weight and pressure off of my shoulders knowing I was already pitching with a lead.”
Hannan was able to push across two insurance runs in the fifth on RBI singles by Barre and center fielder Gino Guarnio. Barre finished the game as the leading hitter for the Hawks, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs.
“Big win for our squad tonight,” first-year Hannan coach Chris Yeager said. “Jordan used his fastball to get ahead tonight, and it worked well for him the entire game and he threw the curveball enough to keep them off balance. All we ask of him is to pump the zone with strikes, and he did that tonight. We made the plays defensively behind him.
“Like (Gonzalez) said, getting that lead early on was huge. It was great to be able to come out and jump on their quality lefty early. Sean Tweedy is a Division I pitcher, and we were able to hit him tonight. We were also able to take advantage of some mistakes and convert them into runs. Good teams take advantage of their opponent’s mistakes.”