By GERARDO RECINOS
Alhambra’s baseball team was able to exercise some demons on Saturday night in the opener of the Bulldog Classic.
They pounded out 11 hits in the 6-1 win over John Swett-Crockett while getting five innings of solid work on the mound from junior Brett Sterrer.
For a minute it looked like the game would get started off on a bad note after Swett scored on a pair of singles. But Sterrer stranded a runner in scoring position.
Alhambra evened things up in the bottom of the second inning when sophomore Cole Gifford doubled in senior Zach Elliott, who doubled himself earlier in the inning.
Sterrer was only backed into a corner once in the ball game in the top of the third inning. But he bore down and struck out the next hitter on four pitches for the most important of his six strikeouts on the evening.
Junior Nick Rodriguez flew out on the very next pitch for the Swett Warriors to end the threat.
After a threat with runners in scoring position fizzled out for Alhambra in the third inning, they came back after a shutdown inning where Sterrer only threw nine pitches to reward his efforts.
Sophomore Brandon Muroka doubled deep over the center fielder’s head in what likely would’ve been a home run if there were fences.
His at bat was followed with a double by Gifford for his second RBI on the night. Keeping the double train going, senior Tyler Peters laced a bomb that would’ve left the yard in most parks in the Diablo Foothill Athletic League.
Up 3-1, the Bulldogs were riding the backs of a pitching staff that has been stellar up to this point, ecstatic that their hitting at home seems to be coming around.
Sophomore Trent Greene sparked another rally in the bottom of the fifth inning, after another shut down inning by Sterrer before he would depart from the game in favor of fellow junior Spencer Schulhauser.
Greene scored on a double steal that eventually saw Elliott, who swiped second in the double steal, score on an error by the right fielder off the bat of Muroka.
The sophomore was driven in by the man of the moment at the dish, the first baseman Gifford, who made the most of his first start.
Schulhauser bridged the gap between the starter and de-facto closer of the ball game Cameron Machado with four big strikeouts in his 1 1/3 innings of work.
Machado closed out the ball game with a pair of strikeouts of his own against the top of the order to make it six straight punch outs to end the ball game.