A three-run home run by Westchester High School senior Flavio Ramos in the first inning was all the Comets needed for victory, as they breezed by host Venice High School with an 11-0 Western League victory in five innings Thursday, March 30th.
The Comets (6-5, 4-0), who defeated Venice 12-2 in their first meeting Monday, March 27th, picked up another commanding victory over the Venice High Gondoliers, to stay undefeated in league play.
Westchester had a strong offensive showing with ten hits and scored in each of the first four innings, while Venice (2-9, 2-2) struggled offensively and managed to get its only hit of the game in the fifth inning.
The two teams decided to end the game after the fifth inning due to the 11-run lead of Westchester.
“Our hitting is starting to come around,” Westchester coach Ross Rosenfeld said. “It was a good offensive performance.
“We struggled earlier in the season against some tough opponents, but we’re starting to put things together.”
Westchester got things started right away against Venice, when Ramos hit a three-run home run off Venice starting pitcher Graham Davis over the right centerfield wall.
Ramos led the Comet offense with five RBIs (runs batted in) in the game.
Junior Matt Mills then put Westchester ahead 4-0 with an RBI double in the second inning, sending home junior Darrell Hudson.
Venice junior Troy Sommo was on third base and in position to score the first run for the Gondos in the second inning, but Westchester sophomore starting pitcher Julio Baltadano struck out Venice sophomore Mitch Takade to end the inning.
The Comets took a 5-0 lead in the third inning when senior D’Arby Myers ran home on an RBI single by junior Joshua Fernandez, but the Venice defense halted any further scoring by Westchester with a double play to end the inning.
The Gondos put two runners on base after a throwing error by Westchester and a walk in the third inning, but the strong pitching performance by Baltadano kept Venice scoreless.
The Comets got off to a quick start on offense in the fourth inning by picking up hits in their first four at-bats, including an RBI single by senior Josh Morton.
Myers then started a five-run rally with a line-drive double that sent two runners home.
Another double by Ramos sent two more runners home and senior Ulises Pineda put Westchester ahead 11-0 with an RBI single.
“We did a good job staying inside the ball,” Rosenfeld said of his team’s six-run inning. “It was our good inning.”
Davis, who finished with five strikeouts for Venice, prevented another potential Westchester run by ending the fourth inning with a strikeout.
Venice was unable to respond against the pitching of Baltadano, who finished with five strikeouts and pitched a no-hitter through four innings.
The Comets switched pitchers to junior Brandon Williams in the fifth inning, when Venice junior Marcaaron Takagaki gave the Gondos their only hit on a double to right field, but a double play by the Comet defense kept Venice scoreless.
Westchester finished with three errors in the game and Venice had two errors.
“We had outstanding pitching today,” Rosenfeld said. “It’s been the story of our success on defense.”
Westchester will next play at Fairfax High School in a league game at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 6th.
Venice will face visiting Palisades High School in a league game at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 6th.