Baseball: Washington rides the bats of Kawano and James in win over Terra Nova

Washington's Thomas Tomioka slides past Terra Nova catcher Justin Gubser on a sacrifice fly from Alex Kawano in the sixth inning at Terra Nova High School on Saturday. (Photo by AJ Canaria)

By Jeremy Balan

It’s been said that winning can cure all ills, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a baseball team in The City that needed a win more than Washington High School.

On a six-game losing streak, with the last four being one-run losses, the visiting Eagles (16-9, 8-4) got back into the win column with a 6-2 win over Terra Nova High School of Pacifica in a non-league game on Saturday.

“It’s nice to get back and win this weekend,” said Washington Head Coach Rob Fung. “We were on a pretty bad slide and we didn’t know when we were going to stop. Today we were able to execute.”

Washington rode the bat of senior left fielder Alex Kawano, who had three RBIs on an RBI double and two sacrifice flies out of the seventh spot in the order.

“He’s been struggling and we moved him down in the order,” Fung said of Kawano. “But you can’t hide anyone in the lineup; it’s going to find you. He was able to step up today and hopefully we’ll be able to carry this a little bit.”

Washington senior center fielder Walter James sprints around the bases after his two-run home run in the fifth inning at Terra Nova High School on Saturday. (Photo by AJ Canaria)

Washington senior center fielder Walter James put an exclamation point on the win, with a lined, two-run home run to left field in the fifth inning that landed on the infield dirt of the adjacent field on the fly, increasing the Eagles’ lead to 5-1.

“That thing got out there really quick,” Fung said. “[James] swung the bat well. He’s been one of our best guys all year. Walter is a great athlete.”

James also had a towering double to left field in the third and pitched a scoreless seventh inning to seal the victory.

“I was just waiting for fastballs and I just turned on a couple,” James said. “I’ve been talking to [some of the other seniors] about last year, and how guys would have big hits every game. We need more people to get big hits.”

Washington senior first baseman Gabe Morse also contributed at the plate, but did so without swinging the bat, scoring three runs on three walks.

Washington senior starting pitcher Wesley House allowed one run on four hits over four innings to collect the win.

“[Wesley] did a good job. Initially we were just going to have him go two or three innings, but he was able to get guys out right away and he gave us more than we expected,” Fung said.

The Tigers (10-4-1, 5-0), who came in undefeated in Peninsula League play, scored a run of three hits in the first off House, but only had three hits after that.

“The game, as a whole, was bad,” said Terra Nova Head Coach Joey Gentile. “We’re not getting the big hit and that’s hurting us. The guys are just unprepared on Saturday games and it’s driving me crazy. It’s driving me nuts; I’m pretty upset right now. I’m trying to get them motivated, but it’s just not happening. Hopefully these guys can rebound and come back from this.”

Washington heads into their off week in the AAA, but will play two non-league games against Harker of San Jose and Stuart Hall, before a two game series with Galileo in the final week of league play.

“It would be nice to keep it going into next week,” Fung said. “We were in a rough patch, so hopefully this is a good sign for us.”

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