Nathan Mollat/Daily Journal
Half Moon Bay
The Half Moon Bay baseball team picked up a couple of firsts with its 10-7 win over first-place Menlo-Atherton Friday afternoon in Atherton.
First, it was the Cougars’ initial road victory of the season and, more importantly, their first Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division game of the 2012 campaign.
"We broke a trend,” said Half Moon Bay manager Steve Terraszas. "To battle the way they did, I’m proud.”
While the game won’t go down as a textbook way to go about winning, Half Moon Bay (1-4-1 PAL Bay, 4-11-1 overall) did just enough to earn the victory. That would be the perfect way to describe the performance of Half Moon Bay starting pitcher Peter Basich. He worked into the fifth inning, allowing just three hits, but he was far from sharp, walking seven and giving up six earned runs. Of the seven batters Basich walked, six scored.
"I thought he did a great job,” Terraszas said. "I’d like to eliminate the walks, but he put the ball in play and let his defense help him out.”
Pete Richardson relieved Basich in the fifth inning and pitched three innings to earn the save, giving up one run on one hit.
But Basich can thank the Cougars’ offense for picking him up, including Basich himself, who was 2 for 3 from the plate, with a pair of two-run singles and a walk from the cleanup position.
In fact, it was the top of the Half Moon Bay order that did most of the damage. In addition to Basich’s four RBI, leadoff hitter Henry Fassinger was 4 for 5 with a RBI and two runs scored; Chet Silveria drove in a run and scored twice from the No. 2 position; and Brett Berghammer was 2 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
"Half Moon Bay is never easy to play,” said M-A manager Mike Amoroso. "They’ll do whatever they can to win a ball game.”
Despite not hitting the ball out of the infield, the Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Fassinger led off with a bunt single, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. With one out, Berghammer came to the plate and legged out an infield hit with Fassinger scoring on the play.
M-A (4-2, 14-5) tied the score in similar fashion in the bottom of the inning. Erik Amundson walked, stole second and went to third on a passed ball. He ended up scoring on Alex Aguiar’s sacrifice fly to left.
Neither team scored in the second but Half Moon Bay scored three times in the third. Fassinger led off with a double and scored on Silveria’s flare single to right. Berghammer walked and both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. Basich came up and stroked a two-run single to center to give the Cougars a 4-1 lead.
M-A got two runs back in the bottom of the third. Again, the Bears scored twice without benefit of a hit. Will Lyons and Nick Lange both walked during the inning, with Lyons eventually scoring on a balk and Lange coming home on a wild pitch.
The Cougars tacked on four more runs in the fourth to take an 8-3 lead, with Berghammer driving in one and Basich adding two more RBI with the fourth run being unearned. Back came the Bears in the bottom of the frame, scoring three times on an RBI single from Lange and a two-run infield hit by Aguiar to trail 8-6.
Half Moon Bay tacked on an insurance run in the fifth on another unearned run and added one more in the seventh on a Fassinger RBI single to center. M-A, on the other hand, was shut down by Richardson for two two-plus innings. The Bears got a run back in the bottom of the seventh when Ryan Cortez doubled home Sam Falkenhagen, but a foul out to Basich at first base ended the game.
"To move guys around (the bases) and getting the big hit, that’s been missing (this season),” Terraszas said.