Westland Hialeah Earns Big District Win Over Mater Academy
Westland Hialeah got some big, two-out hits from George Diaz and some strong pitching from George Aguilera and Giovanny Arriera to pave the way to an important 6-2 victory over Mater Academy Monday afternoon at Walker Park. The win over the Lions improved the Wildcats (6-2) to 4-0 in 8A-16, meaning Westland Hialeah needs only to win one of its final two district contests to secure the top seed in the district tournament at the end of the season.
Pitching has been dominant for the Wildcats so far this season, as the club carried a 0.80 team ERA into Monday’s contest. Aguilera surrendered two runs over the first four innings while striking out two, earning his first victory of the season. Arriera closed out the final three frames, scattering three hits and striking out four while keeping the Lions (4-3, 2-2) from mounting any sort of a comeback.
“I don’t even know how to describe this,” Westland Hialeah manager Jose Alvarez said. “Our goal was to get the number one seed, like anybody else. I told these guys when the year started that we have to work hard and not be satisfied with anything we have, but to keep trying to get better and better every single day every time we are on the field. Today was a good indicator that we are heading in the right direction.”
George Diaz had a big day at the plate, delivering twice with two outs to pace the pitching staff with enough run support. Diaz went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, and David Vasquez was 3-for-4 with a run and two stolen bases.
The win did not come easy, as Mater slugged out 11 hits and had several long at bats that made the Wildcat pitchers work to earn everything they got. The Lions got on the board to go ahead early when Richie Alfonso singled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single from Chris Lopez in the bottom of the second. Alfonso was 2-for-3 on the day, while leadoff hitter Lewis Hernandez went 3-for-4 and scored Mater’s other run thanks to an RBI double from Raynel Delgado. Delgado was 2-for-4 on the day.
“They came ready to play today; Mater was really ready to go,” Alvarez said of the Lions. “Mater had really good at bats and they battled. They had a lot of 10-pitch at bats and they really made us work. But my guys were resilient and they just kept coming at them.”