Tague, Liang and Wong Combine for No-Hitter vs Warriors

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Tague, Liang and Wong Combine for No-Hitter vs Warriors

Coach Vince Dell'Aquila conducts a mound visit with sophomore pitcher Sam Liang during the seventh inning

Coach Vince Dell'Aquila conducts a mound visit with sophomore pitcher Sam Liang during the seventh inning

Coach Vince Dell'Aquila conducts a mound visit with sophomore pitcher Sam Liang during the seventh inning

Coach Vince Dell'Aquila conducts a mound visit with sophomore pitcher Sam Liang during the seventh inning

Eric Ting, Editor-In-Chief

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When shortstop Zach Wong took the mound in the seventh inning, he knew the outcome of the game was in his hands. “I was pretty comfortable, this is my role on the team, I am prepared for situations like these,” Wong said. Wong was called upon to preserve a 3-0 lead over the Mission San Jose Warriors, a group of bearded players who more closely resembled the cast of Duck Dynasty than a high school baseball team.

The Mats rode the collective efforts of pitchers Tim Tague and Sam Liang, who together threw a perfect game through six innings. The Warriors broke up the perfect game during the top of the seventh inning, when a fly ball to center went off the glove of junior outfielder Elijah Hodges. Liang walked the next batter, and Wong was summoned to hold off the Warriors’ comeback bid.

The first batter Wong faced grounded out to first, but the runners on base advanced to second and third. “For those situations, I just have to take a deep breath, stay calm, and get the job done,” Wong said. And Wong did get the job done, striking out the next two batters, preserving both the shut out and the team no-hitter. The win snaps the Mats’ three game slide, evening their season record at 3-3.

This game was supposed to be opening day on the newly renovated field at Miramonte High School, but unexpected delays caused the Mats to play on the field of bitter rival Campolindo High School. The Mats have also played games at Saint Mary’s College, and there is no clear timetable for when the new field will be ready.

“Today we pitched well and played good defense, but offensively, we’re getting guys on but not getting guys in,” coach Vince Dell’Aquila said. “It has been frustrating recently, on Tuesday (against Analy) we were up 4-0, then had the bases loaded twice but couldn’t score, and ultimately lost the game 5-4. And last week (against San Marin) we had eight guys on over the course of the game, but couldn’t get any in and lost 2-0.”

The inability of the offense to drive in runs was apparent again against the Warriors, since two of the three Mats’ runs came off of errors from Warrior catcher Kevan Mathis. Senior third baseman Eric Nyman scored during the first inning when Mathis was unable to execute a throw back to the mound. “The catcher was trying to throw it back to the pitcher and just sort of short-hopped it to pitcher and it rolled past him ,” Nyman said. “I just saw it and ran.”

Mathis committed another fatal error during the fourth inning when he dropped a pitch and junior catcher Casey McGonigle rushed in to score from third. The lone RBI of the game came when senior outfielder Daniel Huston bunted in junior pinch-runner Dekkers Barr during the fourth inning.

The big storyline of the day was the return of junior pitcher Tim Tague, who made his first start of the year after missing the first two weeks of the season due to basketball. Tague pitched a perfect 4 ⅔ innings, but was relieved by sophomore Sam Liang during the fifth inning. “Tim was on a pitch count, he was coming off of basketball and it was his first time on the mound, so we wanted to limit him to about 45-50 pitches,” Dell’Aquila said.

Tague was greatly enthused to rejoin his teammates. “I’m just glad to be back out there and hanging out with the guys,” Tague said. “Today I located the fastball well, hit the right spots, and (catcher) Casey (McGonigle) called a great game.” Tague began throwing pitches during the last month of basketball season to be ready to go as soon as possible.

Miramonte has just one week left of non-league games remaining before traveling back to Campolindo on March 29 to open DFAL play against the Cougars.

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