Mike Woods refers to them as moments, and considering the season the Hamilton baseball team is having, he should know very well.
The Huskies have seen plenty of them.
Hamilton won its 22nd game in 24 tries on Tuesday when one of those moments seemingly changed the momentum in a 13-5 win at Desert Vista.
It is easy to point to Austin Filiere’s go-ahead grand slam or Zach Pederson settling in for this eight win, but the moment the game changed came on right fielder Jake Boston’s terrific catch and throw to double up the Thunder offense to end a potential rally.
“That was the turning point,” Woods said. “Sometimes in a game there is a moment and the bench recognized it, too. It was huge.”
Desert Vista (16-7, 8-5 in power rankings games) had the lead after a five-run first and looked to add some more in the third when Isaiah Deutsch ripped a ball off Pederson that looked to be heading over Boston’s head with one out. It was hit directly at him, the hardest type of ball to get back on, but Boston reached up at the last second to snag it.
He collected himself and threw to first to double up Michael Popeck, who had four hits for Desert Vista, to end the inning.
“It was one of those games where when we hit it hard it was right at someone,” Popeck said. “It was a great play. I didn’t think he had a chance.”
Hamilton (13-0 in power ranking games) came out in the next frame and plated nine runs on seven hits when the Huskies scored six runs with two outs, including a two-run double by Chandler Reynard, who finished with four RBIs, and the grand slam by Filliere, who started it all with a double off Deutsch (4-4).
Deutsch, who came in with a 2.45 ERA, didn’t allow a hit in the first three innings, but the left-hander couldn’t get out of the fourth. He allowed eight earned runs after three of the four runs of the grand slam given up Zach Hardy were his responsibility and 3 2/3 innings of work.
“He got the ball up and they did a good job of hitting it hard,” Thunder coach Stan Luketich said.
The Thunder have lost two in a row, but are still in the top 10 of the power rankings heading into Thursday’s game at home against Red Mountain.
“We have to win some games here,” Luketich said of the remaining five games. “Our schedule is pretty tough and it is what we wanted so if we win enough to get in we earned it.”
The top seven in the Thunder lineup had at least one hit, while Popeck had two RBIs on his first inning double and Keenan Bartlett had two singles.
Hamilton, who got six shutout innings from Pederson after the rough first inning, had multi-hit games as Boston and Filliere had three hits each, while Reynard, Hunter Robson, who had two RBIs, and Blake King had two hits each.
“We need to keep playing good baseball, keep our emotions in check and keep trying to get better,” Woods said. “And, of course, stay healthy.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.