Early control problems for Hannan pitchers proved to be the difference in the Hawks’ District 10-2A loss against Northlake Christian on Saturday at Mula Family Field.
Four Hawks pitchers combined to walk nine batters and hit three more. That helped the home-standing Wolverines post a 6-5 victory in the rubber match of the district rivals’ three-game series.
Hannan (10-6, 1-2) won the first game of the series Tuesday, and Northlake (13-4, 2-1) won Thursday.
Hannan’s Nick Lucido led off the game with a walk and Quinn Heinold reached on an error. Dale St. John walked to load the bases with no outs, and Nick Lagalante singled to score Lucido. Andrew Barre grounded into a double play, but Heinold scored to make the game 2-0.
Northlake answered in the bottom of the first. Justin Estrada reached on an error, and Sean Tweedy reached on a strikeout, when the Hannan catcher threw to third base to try and stop Estrada from advancing. Diego Sanchez singled in the first run, then Buddy Kyle and Taj Porter walked — the latter which scored a run and evened things at 2.
Hannan starter Austin Smith was pulled after walking the first two batters he faced in the second inning. Gino Guarino took over, and Estrada surprised the Hawks by bunting for a single to load the bases. Guarino then hit Tweedy with a pitch to score Cole Bilbo.
Hannan coach Chris Yeager pulled Guarino in favor of Joey Gonzalez. The Hawks recorded an out, but Kyle walked to score Logan Stevens. Porter then was hit by a pitch to score Estrada, and Tweedy came home on a wild pitch it 6-2.
Northlake built that four-run lead with the benefit of only two hits through two innings.
Hannan chipped away at the lead, though. In the fourth, the Hawks got a double by Barre and an RBI single by Guarino. Lucido drove home another run to close the margin to 6-4. The Hawks added another run in the fifth when St. John doubled and scored on a dropped flyball in the outfield.
Justin Ethridge picked up the win for Northlake. He allowed seven hits and had nine strikeouts in five innings.
Estrada came on in relief of Ethridge in the sixth. In the seventh, he hit Lagalante and walked Barre with no outs. John Macaluso was inserted to pitch to Guarino, who bunted for a single to load the bases.
Ian Distefano hit into a double play and Macaluso got a fly out to to end the game.
“Johnny Macaluso threw some strikes up there and gave us a chance to win,” Northlake coach Tim Rogers said. “Hannan has a great team, so that’s the reason they came back. We were very fortunate to win.”