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Motivated Foothill knocks out past nemesis

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

SANTA ANA – Carter of Rialto made the big statements early, but it was Foothill that made the little things count on Tuesday.

Foothill used small ball to keep pace and pull away from Carter of Rialto to win, 8-2, in a CIF-SS Division 2 second round game at Foothill High.

Foothill (24-7) travels to play top-seeded South Hills of West Covina in the quarterfinals on Friday.

“It was a good way to build into our next game,” Foothill coach Vince Brown said. “I felt last game we had to play 11 innings to get the playoff feel. Today, we sort of had that the first few innings. I thought we started to play better baseball in the second inning.”

The win was retribution for Foothill as the Knights lost to Carter at home in the first round last season.

“That was the biggest motivation for us,” Evan Mickelson said. “Come back and just opening up on a team we knew we could beat and just play our game and get the ‘dub’. ”

Carter (21-7) came in with that confidence from last season’s meeting and led after each of the first two innings on power shots.

Isaiah Davis led off the game with a solo home run, and David Martinez followed up with another solo home run in the second.

From there, Carson Herrell shut things down on the mound allowing just one more hit in six innings of work with six strikeouts.

“He was up early in the game when he got hurt for the home runs,” Brown said. “He made the adjustment and got the ball down around the knees and threw his breaking ball with confidence. It was monstrous.”

In support of Herrell, Foothill kept up and pushed ahead with its short game.

In the first, Mickelson turned a leadoff walk into a tying run. Following a double by Jack Jansen and an intentional walk to load the bases, Mickelson sprang home as Carter made an error on a potential double play.

Foothill tied things up again in the third with another bases-loaded situation after Matthew O’Donoghue led off with single. Another double and intentional walk loaded the bases, and Nick Provenzano cashed in with a RBI single.

Mickelson scored again on a RBI single by Drake Wood in the fourth for a 3-2 lead.

In the sixth, Foothill got the bases loaded again and broke it open with five consecutive singles. Cameron Dutcher’s single scored three, including Mickelson's third run, and Jacob Manzur and Preston Moebius each collected an RBI.


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