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Bottom of order puts Madison on top

03/26/2013, 10:43pm PDT
By Terry Monahan

No. 9 batter "gives us an extra leadoff hitter," says Warhawks coach.

Andrew Shebloski has barely started his baseball career at Madison.

As expected, the freshman right fielder is struggling at the plate so far this season.

That’s why he’s hitting ninth in the Warhawks’ batting order.

Good thing, too.

Shebloski cashed in a one-out single and a La Costa Canyon error Tuesday afternoon for the tying run to set up Andy Villasenor’s single to score the winning run for a 3-2 victory in the second day of pool play in the Classic Division of the 63rd annual Lions Baseball Tournament at Rancho Bernardo High.

“I’ve never had a hit like that one,” Shebloski said. “I was trying to move the two runners along and let the top of the order drive them in.”

On the first pitch to Villasenor, the senior left-hander looped a ball that just barely reached the outfield grass at shortstop, but against the drawn-in infield it was enough to drive home Ryan Hartin with the winning run.

The win has Madison (6-4), now 2-0 in the tournament, on the verge of advancing to Thursday’s semifinals with a win today at home against El Camino Real.

In the sixth inning, La Costa Canyon (6-4) scored twice to take a 2-1 lead, with runs on Shayne Davern’s sacrifice fly and Brandon Miller’s single.

“We haven’t been hitting the last three games or so,” LCC coach Justin Machado said. “We have to wake up our bats because we aren’t hitting and we’re not hitting with runners in scoring position, either.

“We’re hitting a lot of at-’em balls. The baseball gods are trying to frustrate us.”

Starting pitcher Ethan Abrams re-entered the game for the Mavs in the sixth inning and retired the Warhawks in order. He struck out the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Then came Garrett Dollarhyde’s bunt single, eventually setting the stage for Shebloski.

“Andrew is one of the best hitters in the lineup,” Madison coach Robert Lovato said. “He gives us an extra leadoff hitter.”

Villasenor pitched the seventh inning and allowed two runners into scoring position before getting the final out.

He then drove in the winning run.

“We told him to look for a first-pitch fastball,” Lovato said. “I thought their reliever, at that point, would come right at him with his best fastball.”

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