The Wolverines won their third game in a row to begin the season, defeating the Simi Valley Pioneers 8-4 in the Easton Tournament quarterfinals.
Harvard-Westlake got off to a quick start with a three-run first inning, however were frequently challenged by a pesky Simi Valley team.
Jake Suddleson ’16 got the scoring going with an RBI double. Shortly after, Casey Slattery ’17 singled in Suddleson to put the Wolverines up 2-0. However, Harvard-Westlake was not done with their explosive inning, as Loren Franck ’18 drove in Cameron Deere ’16 to give the Wolverines a 3-0 first inning lead.
In the bottom of the second, pitcher Paul Giacomazzi ’16 helped himself by leading off with a single and then subsequently stealing two bases. He was able to score on a sacrifice fly to deep center field by Deere. After two innings, the Wolverines led 4-0.
However, the Harvard-Westlake lead was not safe as Simi Valley came all the way back to even up the score at four in the top of the third inning. They were aided by a bloop single which plated two and a two-run home run to left center field.
In the bottom of the third, Leo Kaplan ’16 singled to left field and was driven in by Franck after a Slattery sacrifice bunt advanced Kaplan to second. The Wolverines took a 5-4 lead in the third and never looked back.
The Wolverines continued scoring with ease, as they added two more runs in the fourth inning, which saw John Thomas ’16 double to right to score Suddleson, and then Kaplan singled to allow Thomas to score. The Wolverines pushed their lead to 7-4 after four innings.
Franck scored the Wolverines’ final run in the bottom of the fifth inning when he singled past the third baseman and then advanced all the way home on an error by the Pioneers’ pitcher on a throw to first base on a bunt by Matt Thomas ’17.
The Wolverines cruised in the final two innings, relying on Nico Mannucci ’17 to close, and he did so successfully, preserving the home team’s 8-4 advantage.
Giacomazzi was the winning pitcher, Kaplan and John Thomas each went 2-4 with an RBI and Franck went 3-3 with 2 RBIs.
The Wolverines will continue their Easton Tournament title defense on Saturday when they take on El Camino Real in the semifinals on the road at 11 a.m.