HANFORD — Aiden Redding pitched three solid innings, Manny Souza sparked a four-run inning and the Hanford All-Stars moved to 2-0 in pool play with a 7-2 victory over Arizona Yuma Blue on Tuesday.
Redding (1-0) picked up the victory after allowing two runs on six hits in three innings with three strikeouts. He took a comebacker off his right leg in the first inning, but muscled through it and proceeded to throw two scoreless frames.
“Just really trying to throw strikes and trying not to aim because when I aim I throw bad,” Redding said.
Redding, a knuckleball, curveball, changeup and fastball hurler, went to his fastball to get outs. He retired five of the final six batters he faced.
“We’ve just been practicing and practicing and we’ve been getting better as a team together,” Redding said. “Our pitching’s been getting better so … that’s how we come together as a team and start winning games.”
Day two of the 2019 Cal Ripken 12-60’ Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament saw Hanford trail 2-0 after the top of the first inning. It was the first time they trailed after they led wire-to-wire in Monday’s game.
But the team responded with a run in the bottom of the first and then four more in the second. Hanford catcher Manny Souza had his team cheering in the dugout after hitting a leadoff triple to start the second inning.
“I always believe that hitting’s contagious, so I came out with a triple and then everyone just kept following it and kept getting runs,” Souza said.
Extra player Nicholas Trejo then lined a game-tying RBI single to center field. Trejo, who came off the bench against Bullard/Starbuck, was inserted into the starting lineup and paid immediate dividends going 2-for-2 with two RBIs.
Dalton Areias kept the inning going with a go-ahead bunt single to score Trejo. An error at first base allowed Areias to reach third. A similar error on the next at-bat allowed Areias to score, while Nathaniel Zackery reached third base.
“It’s home-field advantage,” Hanford coach Carlos Perez said. “We got sun over there on first base, so I figured let’s do the bunt and it worked in our favor. It happened twice in a row, so I figured let’s keep going. Home-field advantage comes into huge play in these situations.”
Gavin Luna’s RBI ground out gave the team a 5-2 lead and completed a momentum-swinging rally.
“The boys are pretty confident,” Perez said. “There’s no losing in their book. They’re out there to battle and they battled, came back and they felt good about it.”
Souza, who was 2-for-2 with two runs, hit a two-out RBI double in the third inning after Redding hit a bloop single to center field. Trejo drove in Souza with a single to make it 7-2.
Hanford pitching didn’t allow any runs after the first inning and allowed only one baserunner to get to second base the rest of the way.
“Calm and relaxed,” Perez said about his pitching. “Like Stuart Scott used to say, ‘Cool like the other side of the pillow,’ and that’s what they were.”
Wyatt Bookout pitched two scoreless innings in relief and allowed one hit with two strikeouts and one walk. Carlos Perez then pitched a perfect sixth inning with a little help from his defense.
Zackery, in right field, made an incredible diving play in foul territory followed by shortstop Dalton Areias’ own sliding catch in the same area. Shortstop David Hilyard then caught a line drive to end the game.
The tournament continues today with Hanford facing River Park at 7:30 p.m.