By Zack Farmer
The Washington High School baseball team found itself in the same position this time last season.
It had won the opener of the Transbay Series against Oakland Tech and went into the second game with a chance to claim its first inter-section title since 2006.
The Eagles failed to get the job done a year ago, but did not let the opportunity slip away again.
Behind a strong performance from junior Christopher Hau on the mound and at the plate, Washington was able to avenge its 2011 Transbay loss by scoring four runs in the first inning and three more in the fourth to beat Oakland Tech 7-4 on Tuesday at San Francisco State University, sweeping the best-of-three series.
“We talked about our approach,” said Washington head coach Rob Fung. “We have quite a few seniors on this team and they had a taste of it [last year]. We had a better approach coming into this series.”
Washington (23-9) got going offensively when Dane Vande Guchte took off for third base on a steal attempt and saw a throw from Oakland Tech catcher Evan Williams sail into left field, allowing Vande Guchte to score and tie the game up at 1-1.
Run-scoring singles from Christopher Yee and Gio Solorzano capped off the first inning and had the Eagles up 4-1.
“It’s always important to score as quick as you can, as early as you can, especially late in the season because all the teams playing now are good teams,” Fung said. “If you get that opportunity or slight window that opens up, you have to take advantage of it.”
Hau settled down after a rough first inning and retired nine of the next 11 batters.
“Finding my balance point is the main key to it because if you’re rattled, you’re going to be all over the place,” Hau said. “The catcher comes out and tells me to calm it down, just catch my balance and you do.”
After missing out on a bases-loaded chance in the third, Washington found the bases loaded again in the fourth with Hau at the plate.
The junior ripped a single down the left-field line, which scored Javon Phillips and Jordan Wilson, to give the Eagles a commanding 6-1 lead.
“He pitched well and to get a couple of extra hits to add on to our lead was huge,” Fung said.
Hau threw six innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits, and went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Once the Eagles had a large lead, Fung knew the big inning was now something his team needed to prevent.
“We knew we had the lead and we knew that we didn’t want to give up the big inning and if we refrained from that, I think we were going to be in good shape,” Fung said. “Late in the season you can’t give up the big inning.”
Oakland Tech (13-11) finally got back on the scoreboard in the fifth with two runs following a dropped fly ball in right field that would have been the third out.
Oakland Tech’s Dar Swift went 4-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.
OT – Alejandro Wlassowsky singles, Chris Castillo scores
W – Dane Vande Guchte scores on a throwing error
W – Christopher Yee singles, Javon Phillips scores
W – Gio Solorzano single, Yee scores
W – Sean Matthews sacrifice fly, Christopher Hau scores
W – Hau singles, Phillips and Jordan Wilson score
W – Yee steals home on a double steal
OT – Kailen Robinson scores on an error
OT – Dar Swift doubles, Kyle Kelly scores
OT – Anthony Morris singles, David Flores scores