“Just enough” was the operative phrase for Arbor View’s baseball team Thursday.
The Aggies scored just enough runs to hold off a sixth-inning rally, they got themselves into just enough trouble without it costing them, and Joe Fitzhugh’s dagger of a seventh-inning home run had just enough juice on it to leave the yard.
Add it all up, and it was just enough for Arbor View to pick up a 5-2 victory at Cimarron-Memorial.
“Our guys stepped up and made plays when we had to,” Arbor View coach Gary White said. “I’m pleased with the win.”
The fifth inning ended with Arbor View right-hander Cameron Nixon getting a flyball to leave the bases loaded, and it was just the start of the Aggies flirting with danger.
The Aggies took a 3-0 lead into the sixth, and the Spartans scored two runs without a hit. Two walks and a hit by pitch started the inning, which summoned right-hander Andrew Hackbart from the bullpen.
Hackbart allowed a sacrifice fly, got a ground ball that scored a run, then got another to end the inning two batters later and leave the tying run on third and go-ahead run on second.
“In baseball it’s not stress, it’s what you play for,” White said.
After escaping the sixth, Deangelo Smith led off the Arbor View seventh with his second double, and, two batters later, the right-handed-hitting Fitzhugh hit a laser beam that skipped off the top of the wall in right-center field to extend the lead to its final margin. The home run was his sixth this season, putting him second in Southern Nevada.
“Joe Fitzhugh, in my opinion, is one of the best hitters in town,” White said. “Hitting the ball the other way is his strength.”
In the seventh, it was a similar situation. Hackbart got one out and allowed two runners to reach to bring the tying run to the plate. The Aggies turned to right-hander Austin Pfeifer, who got two strikeouts for the save.
Talon LeBaron and Logan Santos doubled for the Aggies (13-11, 9-9 Northwest League), who will be the league’s No. 4 seed in the Sunset Region playoffs.
The Spartans (17-10, 9-6) will be the No. 3 seed.