By Jeremy Balan
Behind a no-hitter from senior starting pitcher Wesley House, Washington High School advanced to the AAA semifinals with a 14-0 win over Wallenberg in the first round of the AAA playoffs on Tuesday at Big Rec.
“I was using my new pitch, a slider, and it was pretty good, but the fastball was my go-to pitch,” House said. “I didn’t expect a no-hitter. I’ve not really done anything like this. I was mainly a reliever for the past two years.”
Even though the no-hitter came in just five innings due to a mercy rule, House’s accomplishment was not lost on Head Coach Rob Fung.
“They didn’t get a hit,” Fung said. “It’s a five-inning no-hitter, but it’s still a no-hitter. Hopefully it’s something that he’ll remember for his whole life.”
House, who would often start in non-league Saturday games and work out of the bullpen, also contributed considerably to the remainder of the playoff run by keeping Washington’s top arms fresh for the semifinal matchup against top-seeded Lowell on Thursday.
“We figured he was our best option,” Fung said. “It’s huge. You have to appreciate his effort today. He saved the rest of our pitching staff, so we’ll have a little bit more going into Thursday.”
While House kept the Wallenberg offense at-bay, the Eagles’ bats showed up early, scoring five runs in the first inning.
The Eagles (21-10) added four more runs in the second and third innings, highlighted by a three-RBI double by junior right fielder Paul Duchene.
Senior second baseman Dane Vande Guchte also had a solid contribution out of the leadoff spot, batting 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs.
The loss was bittersweet for the Bulldogs (11-7), who made their first postseason appearance in school history.
“Just for these kids to experience the playoffs is great,” said Wallenberg Head Coach Aaron Kolotkin. “Hopefully we can get back here next year and use this as a learning experience. It’s a stepping stone for years to come.”
W – Dane Vande Guchte double to right, scores on throwing error
W – Gabe Morse single to left, Alex Kozakiewicz scores
W – Jumaane Bowdry walks, Walter James scores
W – Alex Machado walks, Morse scores
W – Javon Phillips groundout to short, Alex Kawano scores
W – Morse double to left, Kozakiewicz and James score
W – Bowdry sacrifice fly to center, Morse scores
W – Machado single, Kawano scores
W – Paul Duchene double to left, Vande Guchte, Kozakiewicz and James score
W – Duchene scores on wild pitch
W – Duchene reaches on error, Phillips scores
Balboa 12, Marshall 2
Led by two RBIs from shortstop Fernando Guatemala, Balboa High School cruised to a 12-2 victory over Marshall High School on Tuesday at Big Rec.
Balboa starting pitcher Chris Pulusian threw all five innings in a game that was shortened by a 10-run mercy rule to collect the win. Pulusian struck out five and allowed only one earned run.
The Buccaneers (14-10) will face Galileo (13-13) in the semifinals on Thursday. The two teams split their two-game regular season series.