Leto holds off Gaither to repeat as district champs
|Leto junior first baseman Mikey Camacho slide into the bag for a putout in the sixth inning. Camacho also got the Falcons offensive night started with a single and a run scored in the third.|
The Falcons might have come into Thursday’s Class 7A-District 8 final as the top-seeded favorites but the one blemish to their 8-1 district record came at the hands of Gaither and starter Roy Peguero, when the 6-foot-7 right-hander struck out seven, allowed just two hits and pitched a shutout.
|Gaither senior pitcher Roy Peguero.|
The Leto runs were nearly enough to get Peguero pulled from the game but rallied to shut the Falcons down the rest of the way. However, thanks to a stellar performance from starter Franklyn Hernandez and a lock down showing from Javy Hernandez in relief, the Falcons’ three-run third inning held as Leto claimed its second-straight district title with a 3-2 victory.
It took most of two innings for either team to get a runner to second base, as both infields were solid as well. Of 18 groundouts between both squads’ infields, there was just one error. Leto first baseman Mike Camacho had a heck of a night on defense, stretching, almost doing a split to get to a throw and even sliding to get the touch on the bag to beat a runner in the sixth inning. It would be Camacho that kicked off the Falcon flurry in the third inning.
“It feels so good because I had been in a drought and it felt good to get things started and look where we are now,” Camacho said.
|Mikey Camacho (No. 10) is greeted with a chest bump from Bryan Perez after scoring the game's first run.|
|Javy Hernandez (No. 4) is ready to congratulate Bryan|
Perez (No. 17) after both cross the plate in the third.
The Falcons were running Thursday night. They were three-for-three stealing bases and pulling Cowboys infielders out of position.
“Coach (Pizzio) is aggressive on the bases,” Camacho said. “We’re always trying to get closer to home, get that run in as soon as possible.”
Gaither skipper Nelson North even went to the mound to talk to Peguero but didn’t pull him. Peguero would rally and allow just one more hit the rest of the way.
|Leto senior pitcher Franklyn Hernandez earned the win.|
“It motivated us going against him (Peguero),” Franklyn Hernandez said. “We wanted to make it even and get him off the mound.”
Javy Hernandez was dominant in relief. He got a flyout to escape the sixth and then struck out the first two batters he faced in the seventh.
“We wanted it,” Javy Hernandez said. “We wanted to go back-to-back, we wanted to shut them down. (Gaither senior Derek) Crum is a tough hitter, too and I knew I had to shove it down in a hole.”
|Leto players celebrate around head coach JJ Pizzio after claiming a second-straight Class 7A-District 8 championship.|
|The Class 7A-District 8 Champions|