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Gallo powers Gorman to 20th straight victory

Joey Gallo hasn’t yet reached his goals this season.

It’s almost scary to think what Bishop Gorman’s senior third baseman might have in store for opposing pitchers in the postseason.

Gallo hit his 14th home run of the season Saturday, a two-run shot as part of a six-run first inning, to help the Gaels roll to a 13-1, five-inning win at Sierra Vista.

Gorman hit three homers in the first inning, including back-to-back blasts from Gallo and Kenny Meimerstorf.

“I can’t say it’s already met my goals. I set high goals,” Gallo said of his prolific season. “I’m not going to meet the goal until we win state, honestly. That’s my main goal. Keep playing as hard as you can every day, have fun, and hopefully at the end we win state. That’s our main goal, especially as a team.”

Gorman (27-2, 13-0 Southwest) won its 20th straight game and completed a regular-season sweep of Southwest League rival Sierra Vista (22-8, 10-5).

Gallo hit a two-run homer to center field in the first inning, and Meimerstorf followed with a shot to left for a 3-0 lead. Jerrel Latham singled home A.J. Van Meetren before scoring on Cody Roper’s two-run blast to right for a 6-0 lead.

“I think this is the first time since I’ve been the coach that we haven’t had at least one guy picked off by Vista,” Gorman coach Nick Day said. “And I said, ‘That’s a good way to not get picked, just hit the ball out of the park.’ ”

William Silcox singled through the left side to score Cole Crosby and pull Sierra Vista within 6-1 in the third. The Mountain Lions had the bases loaded with two outs, but Gorman pitcher Neiko Martinez got Nicolas Vanderberg to ground out to end the inning.

Martinez, a junior right-hander, scattered six hits and struck out six in a complete game. He hit one batter but issued no walks.

“He’s been one of our best pitchers lately,” Gallo said. “He kept the ball down, didn’t walk guys, and it was a great performance.”

Gorman added one run in the fourth inning and six in the fifth, highlighted by Justin Jones’ two-run single.

Gallo, who finished 1-for-2 with two walks, drove in two runs to bring his season total to 61 RBIs. He has signed with Louisiana State but is considered one of the nation’s elite corner-infield prospects for the major league draft.

The 6-foot-5-inch left-handed hitter went a combined 7-for-10 with four homers and 13 RBIs on the week in four Gorman wins. But Gallo’s biggest highlight of the season might have come on the mound, when the right-hander pitched a no-hitter with nine strikeouts in an 8-0 win over nationally-ranked Gloucester Catholic (N.J.) in the title game of Gorman’s Easter Classic on April 14.

“(Gallo) has had a lot of pressure on him, a lot of scouts, big scouts at every game, and at the beginning of the year, he was trying a little bit too hard, over-swinging,” Day said. “It’s been nice to see him settle down and refocus.”

Gallo, Jones, Meimerstorf and Roper each had two RBIs, and Van Meetren doubled and scored a run. Robert Lee went 2-for-3 for Sierra Vista.
 

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