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Shadow Ridge’s aggressiveness creates ‘little opportunities’ that aid in victory

Jordan Hand lined a ball up the middle for what appeared to be a routine single leading off the bottom of the sixth inning.

But Shadow Ridge’s catcher had something else in mind.

Hand stretched the hit into a double and scored three batters later on Antonio Arreola’s sacrifice fly. While Hand’s run had no bearing on the outcome, his heads-up base running epitomized the Mustangs’ aggressiveness during Thursday’s 6-1 victory over mistake-prone Sierra Vista.

“That’s what we try to do, take advantage of little opportunities,” Shadow Ridge coach Frank Tousa said. “We’re trying to get them to look to take the extra 90 (feet) and be aggressive on the base paths.”

The host Mustangs capitalized on a handful of defensive miscues by Sierra Vista in the fourth inning to score four runs, and that was plenty of support for sophomore Jake Wilson.

Wilson tossed a complete game, scattering five hits and striking out four in his second consecutive solid outing for No. 7 Shadow Ridge (12-3, 2-0 Northwest League), which has won eight straight. The left-hander also went the distance in a 6-0 win over Cimarron-Memorial on March 28.

Wilson retired eight in a row at one point Thursday and didn’t allow a runner past first base until Cole Crosby opened the sixth with a double to deep right. Caeden Marin broke up the shutout one batter later with a line-drive single to center.

Crosby finished 2-for-3 for the No. 8 Mountain Lions (11-4, 1-1).

“He did an outstanding job,” Tousa said of Wilson. “He pounded the strike zone. Overall, he threw well and made them earn everything.”

The Mustangs took a 1-0 lead in the third without the benefit of a hit, as Jakob Chambers walked, stole second and came all the way around to score after two Sierra Vista throwing errors. Shadow Ridge then broke open the game in the fourth with a two-out rally.

Tyler Burton singled in Francisco Robles — it was the Mustangs’ first hit of the game — and another Sierra Vista error put runners on second and third. Arreola then scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0 before Travis Caskie’s infield single scored Burton.

Caskie scored on a wild pitch two batters later to give Shadow Ridge a 5-0 lead.

“We were able to string some hits together, and we were able to do some things on the base paths to get us a little momentum, and we took advantage of it,” Tousa said. “This gives us a little advantage in league and gives the kids a little confidence playing a good team and coming out ahead.”

Contact reporter David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.

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