Varsity Baseball Slugs By Elgin 18-16 at Dell Diamond

Jared Hyman, Photographer/Videographer

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  • Jace Lyne ’20 pitches the ball agaisnt Elgin. Lyne pitched the third inning of the game and gave up two runs and struck out one.

  • Kolton Clements ’22 dives back into first after a pickoff attempt. Clements reached base before that on a walk.

  • Peter Dyar ’20 throws to first base after making a running play. Dyar drove in a run at the plate and scored twice.

  • Josh Astacio ’21 hustles to third base after a single. Astacio scored Westwood’s first run of the day after a wild pitch.

  • Josh Bonham ’20 takes his head off second base before a pitch. Bonham recorded his first career varsity hit prior to reaching second on a sacrifice bunt.

  • Tait Joynt ’21 lays off a fastball, resulting in a walk. Joynt closed off the game on the mound, pitching the final three innings while earning the win, giving up only one run.

  • Matthew Gula ’22 hits a single in the third inning against Elgin on March 3. Baseball was one of many spring sports to have their season shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Daniel Sialm ’20, Rohan Gupta ’21, and Jeff Hebert ’22 pose after beating Elgin 18-16 at Dell Diamond. The Warriors came from behind yet again to stun the Wildcats in dramatic fashion.

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On Tuesday, March 3, the varsity baseball team squared off against the Elgin Wildcats in a special non-district game at the Dell Diamond, home of the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A (AAA) affiliate of the Houston Astros. After giving up nine runs in the top of the fourth, the Warriors fought their way back and outscored Elgin 15-5 in the final three innings, beating them 18-16 in a game that came down to clutch hits in the late innings. 

“Playing at the Dell Diamond, a place where I personally hold a lot of childhood memories, was definitely surreal for me,” Tait Joynt ‘21 said. “I would always come here with my dad and watch Express games and I always thought the stadium was so cool. Playing in it was no different. The guys made it a special experience to be part of and I’m really glad we were able to pull off a win.”

After the Wildcats scored to start the game, the Warrior bats responded with two in the bottom of the first off of quality at-bats from Peter Dyar ‘20 and Matthew Gula ‘22. Although Elgin did get the lead back, Will Piejko ‘21 pitched out of a jam to keep the damage limited. Once again, the bats came alive in the second and claimed the lead right back, as the Warriors took advantage of free bases given to them by the Wildcat defense. The two teams went back and forth for most of the game until walks and errors paved the way for Elgin to score seven in the top of the fourth and suddenly, the Warriors found themselves down by six. But this didn’t stop the team from staying in the game and fighting until the end. 

“Last year, we blew a lot of games we had leads in and gave up on ourselves after one bad thing happened,” Aidan Bird ‘20 said. “This year is way different. We didn’t think for a second that we were out of this game and this team is poised to fight back back in any situation we find ourselves in, whether we’re winning or losing.” 

The team then proceeded to outscore Elgin 15-4 to close the game, behind a nine-run bottom of the sixth. The team batted around twice and reached base 11 times on seven hits. Rohan Gupta ‘21 and Gael Garcia ‘22 came up with clutch hits off the bench, with Gupta tying the game on a two-run single and Garcia hitting a two-run double to give the Warriors the lead for good. 

“I had a lot of confidence coming to the plate since all the guys before me were getting hits,” Garcia said. “I put out a couple of good swings earlier in the at bat and then I got a good pitch to hit and I’m happy I was able to deliver for my team.”

Joynt, who led the team with three runs driven in on the day, was then called to finish the game on the mound. Despite giving up a pair of runs in two innings of work, he struck out the side in the seventh to close out the game, with the Warriors winning an exciting slugfest 18-16. 

The Warriors will continue their pre-district schedule in the Langerhans tournament at Westwood High School on March 5-7.