Hamilton opens strong, bests Desert Vista in baseball opener

February 25, 2011 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

It took a couple innings to happen, but Hamilton opened its baseball season Friday afternoon in fine fashion.

With just about every facet of the game reporting in, the Huskies erased a 1-0 deficit in the top of the fourth inning and went on to pound Desert Vista, 10-1, in the opener for both teams at the Desert VistaI Invitational.

With a smattering of returning players, including its top three pitchers from last season, Hamilton got solid pitching, great defense and better offense as the game got rolling. Pretty much all of it was pleasing to coach Mike Woods.

"This one worked out well," Woods said. "We got Z (starting pitcher Zak Johnson) his innings, our defense got us three double plays and we got more patient at the plate. The patience at the plate became the big thing."

The game began as a pitcher's duel between Johnson and Desert Vista's Dereck Grey. Through three innings Desert Vista led 1-0 thanks to a two-out home run by Desert Vista leadoff hitter Casey Thomas. Thomas had the green light on a 3-0 fastball and deposited it over the left-field fence to put the Thunder ahead.

Grey, who allowed just one hit in the first three innings and pitched to the minimum over that span, ran into trouble in the fourth. It was pretty much all his doing. Grey walked four and hit a batter in the inning. He did not give up a hit, but Hamilton parlayed two runs out all the baserunners to go in front, 2-1. The go-ahead run scored on a bases-loaded walk to Jordan Frabisilio.

"He was behind in hitters the first couple innings," Woods said. "We weren't patient and were getting ourselves out. I was glad to see us become more patient in that fourth inning."

Grey reached his pitch count after the rough fourth inning and was replaced on teh mound. Hamilton proceeded to rough up a couple of relievers for eight runs and nine hits over the next two innings to break the game open.

Johnson pitched five innings giving up four hits, walking one and striking out one. Parker Gallegos added two scoreless innings of relief.

Leading the way for Hamilton on offense was leadoff hitter Derek Hill, who had two hits, a walk and scored three times. Parker Osborne and Colton Frabisilio ccollected three RBI apiece.

The tournament continues Saturday with Red Mountain, Cibola and Mesa Mtn. View joining in the competition. Game times Saturday at Desert Vista are 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.