Fast legs proved to be just what New Mission needed to get its first win in program history on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon.
The Titans didn’t look back after a five-run second inning that included eight stolen bases. New Mission stole 27 bases in the 15-4 win over Burke.
“We always work on baserunning in practice and the kids have done a nice job with that and we didn’t know going in but as we took a look at what was going on, we capitalized on that,” coach Jason Luisi said. “The opposing pitcher wasn’t really holding them on as much so all the kids had the green light, just be smart about it.”
Freshman Chaquille Pena accounted for three of those five stolen bases in the second inning. He stole second, third, and home to give New Mission a 2-1 lead.
Junior outfielder Marvi Fransisco then reached on an error and stole second and third before first baseman Jose Maria brought him home on a single to center. Maria then stole second and third before he came home on an error.
It was the theme of the afternoon game; Titans getting on base and stealing their way to the plate. The bottom of the order also propelled the big second inning.
“We’re just trying to work hard and trying to be ready for the game every day,” outfielder Andy Gonzalez said. “I’m a junior here so I know more about the game, we have mostly freshman here so I tell them be ready for the game, always have their mindset ready for each play and every pitch.”
New Mission scored two more runs in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth, and six in the fifth before the game was called in the sixth.
After they scored one run in the first, Burke got three runners home in the third inning against junior Ewing Diaz, who pitched the complete game.
“Ewing pitched very well today," Luisi said. "He threw strikes, that’s all we were looking for. We knew as long as we threw strikes, didn’t put extra runners on, we should be OK. We’re a good defensive team so we should be all right.”
Despite the score, Burke coach Paul Duhaime was proud of his team’s attitude.
“One thing I like about this team is that there’s no give up,” Duhaime said. “There’s no head down, there’s no situations like that. I’m blessed to have five solid seniors with solid leadership and that’s all I can ask for as a teacher, as a coach.”
For New Mission, it was a game that the players will be sure to remember for the rest of their life - the first win for the new program.
“It’s been great. The kids have been really practicing hard, playing hard in games, keeping up a great attitude so it’s been nice actually,” Luisi said.
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