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GECKOS, SHARKS ADVANCE

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By Bucky Brennan

Geckos Kaleb Cruz pitched the entire game and finished with nine strikeouts. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Paseo Stadium played host to High School Baseball semifinal action Wednesday night as the GW Geckos took on the Southern High Dolphins. Behind a seven inning, nine strikeout performance from GW starter Kaleb Cruz, the Geckos earned the victory via an 8-1 romping of the the Dolphins. With the win, the final fixture is set and the Geckos advance to the finals to meet the Simon Sanchez Sharks in this year’s IIAAG High School Boys Baseball championship game.

Both teams got things going early. The Geckos notched a run in the top of the first while the Dolphins responded with their lone run in the bottom of the second. From there, the teams showcased good pitching and defense, treating fans to scoreless third and fourth innings.

McDonald’s player of the game: Geckos Kaleb Cruz. 9 strikeouts

The fifth was a different story though as the Geckos capitalized on Dolphins errors and good base running to score four runs. A 1-out error in left field for the Dolphins saw a GW runner make it to first. A play later, replacement pitcher EJ Lobaton fielded a bunt cleanly and tried to throw to second for the double play, but his throw was short and bounced under the glove of the Southern’s second baseman. After the error, there were runners on first and second for the Geckos. A walk and two hit batters scored two runs for GW. And on the next play, GW’s Christian Borja hit a grounder to short that was a perfect double play ball, but fellow Gecko Nate Cruz timed his run perfectly to stop the Dolphins’ shortstop from getting a clean view of the ball. This broke the double play up and scored another run. The final run in the inning crossed on a fielder’s choice. The Dolphins induced a fly-out to close the inning but trailed 5-1.

The damage done in the top half of the fifth put the momentum on the Geckos’ side and they closed the bottom half going 1-2-3, including one of Kaleb Cruz’s strikeouts.

Three more runs crossed in the top of the sixth courtesy of more errors from the Dolphins and Kaleb Cruz led the defense in the final frames to seal the win at 8-1 for GW.

 

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Geckos’ Hank Sablan glides to home plate for the score. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Geckos’ Deshon Naputi gets a good hit on the ball to advance to first base. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Geckos’ Nate Cruz looks to complete a pass from teammate Rohnny Santos. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Dolphins’ Mark Parks tries to force the out but was unable to come up with the ball. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Dolphins’ Trebor Aguerro keeps his eyes on the target as he swings for the hit. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Geckos’ Hank Sablan rushes back to first base before Dolphins’ Isaiah Cruz could get the ball to teammate Vance Kaneshi. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Dolphins’ Isaiah Cruz pitched four complete innings. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Geckos’ Deshon Naputi makes the play in the outfield. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

Dolphins’ Nicolas Cruz gets a good hit on the ball. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

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