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Centennial baseball team starts week strong with win over Santiago

Centennial baseball team starts week strong with win over Santiago

CORONA — Strategy is involved when a high school baseball coach sets a rotation for a three-game series.

Hudson Boncal is the Monday starter for the Corona Centennial baseball team, in large part to help the Huskies start the week on a positive note. And Boncal continues to deliver each time he is handed the ball.

Boncal, a senior who is headed to Ohio University, allowed two unearned runs and struck out seven batters over five innings as the visiting Huskies defeated Santiago 8-3 in a Big VIII League game Monday afternoon.

“There’s a little bit of pressure, but I trust my stuff and my defense,” said Boncal, who improved to 6-0 and lowered his ERA to 0.58. “Coming off of a good series last week, I just wanted to make sure we kept things going strong.”

Boncal’s teammates made his job easier, spotting him a lead before he threw his first pitch of the game.

Centennial (12-5, 3-1 in league) put together a two-out rally in the top of the first inning. Ryder Dykstra singled and scored on a a pair of errors, and Trevor Loucks singled home a run to extend the lead to 2-0.

The offense continued to roll in the second, as the first seven batters of the inning reached base safely. Jake Retzlaff single in the first run, and Bobby Benavidez followed with an RBI double. Dykstra hit a single up the middle to score a pair of runs, and Jason Del Villar ripped a triple to the gap to bring home Dykstra. Ethan Quezada capped the big inning for the Huskies with an RBI single to gave the Huskies an 8-0 advantage.

“Our hitters have always seemed to do well here, and they did it again today,” said assistant coach Jason Clarke, who was filling in for George Wise on Monday. “I just wish we could have kept it going after the second inning.”

Del Villar, a senior catcher, had three hits during Monday’s game to lead the 10-hit attack for the Huskies.

“We always want to give Hudson a big lead because he always pitcher better when we’re up,” Del Villar said.

Santiago (7-10, 2-2) got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning, when Jesse Kneip scored on a two-out error. The Sharks got a second run in the inning, as Tyler Blade blooped a single to right to score Adam Greenawalt.

Michael Padilla was phenomenal in relief for Santiago, pitching six scoreless inning and striking out six.

“He was able to keep the score where it was and give us some chance at coming back,” Santiago coach Ty De Trinidad said. “Most importantly, he saved the arms on our staff. That’s important in a three-game series.”

The teams will play Tuesday afternoon at Centennial and Thursday afternoon back at Santiago.

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