Martinez gives La Habra's playoff hopes a boost


LA HABRA - He might not have felt it, but there was a lot of pressure on Andrew Martinez.

Sunny Hills had already beaten La Habra twice, and were going for the season sweep Friday.

But Martinez, a sophomore left-hander, went the distance in an 8-2 Freeway League victory at La Habra High, allowing one earned run on six hits.

La Habra (14-9, 6-5) and Sunny Hills (14-9, 6-5) head into the final two weeks of the regular season tied for third place.

Martinez (4-0) got through the sixth inning with an 8-0 lead on just 54 pitches. The Lancers scratched out three hits and took advantage of an error to get a pair of runs in the seventh.

“I didn't feel any pressure at all because I knew if I did my part, the rest would take care of itself,” Martinez said. “I completely trust my teammates and knew they would make plays behind me. But this was a win we needed to get and gives us some momentum heading into the final two weeks.”

La Habra got two first-inning runs off Sunny Hills starter Christian Cano. Zack Stack doubled in Kyle Schoh, and Juan Small singled home Elijah Traylor.

In the second, Michael Borg's sacrifice fly, scoring Mun Pak, was all the help Martinez would end up needing.

“We were very happy with Andrew's performance today,” La Habra coach John Sothern said. “In our two previous losses to Sunny Hills, we didn't get good pitching, but we got it today and we now control our own destiny.”

The Highlanders face first-place Troy in a pair of games next week and finish the regular season with two games against second-place Sonora.

Cano allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits.

La Habra got five runs in the sixth inning off Jacob Murphy to put the game out of reach.

Stack and Small had two hits apiece and both scored and drove in a run.

Daniel Kim had an RBI single for Sunny Hills in the seventh and Christian Milroy's fielder's choice scored the other Lancers run.

Zach Peyton had a pair of singles off Martinez.

The game saw a combined 58 batters come to the plate without a single batter going down on strikes.

“That is very rare to see in a baseball game, but both teams battle,” Sothern said. “We've been getting a lot of guys on base this season.”

Borg finished with two sacrifice fly’s, walked once and was hit by a pitch in the first inning.

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