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Wildcats take advantage of Strong pitching effort

Las Vegas High’s baseball team hasn’t won many games this season because of its offense.

But like Saturday, the Wildcats again proved they’re capable of parlaying solid pitching and timely hitting to their advantage.

Austin Strong threw five shutout innings, and the Wildcats benefited from two costly errors en route to a 9-1 road win over Foothill in a Division I Sunrise League game.

“We don’t score a lot of runs,” Las Vegas coach Sam Thomas said. “So for us to put up nine runs today, that was good for us. … Any (league) win is big. You look at the standings, and there’s a lot of parity. It just comes down to the schedule. Every team is going to be a challenge. Every win is important.”

After Jared Herrera and Jason Herrera led off the game with consecutive walks, Trey Chauncey hit a bloop single to left field to load the bases and Diego Delgado was hit by a pitch.

With one out and the bases still loaded, Ryan Freimuth hit a single that got past Foothill’s charging right fielder and went all the way to the fence. Four runs scored, and the Wildcats led 5-0.

“Their error helped us relax a little bit,” Thomas said. “There’s no doubt. Let’s just say if they get out of that inning only giving up two runs, it’s a different ballgame from that time on because we didn’t score for a couple innings after that. It changes the attitude in that dugout, and it changes the attitude in this dugout.”

Strong, who threw 63 of his 106 pitches for strikes, allowed three hits and two walks and struck out eight.

“Austin Strong did a good job,” Thomas said. “He threw a lot of pitches and got himself into some trouble, but he worked himself out of it. His split-finger was on and off today. His changeup looked like it was working pretty well. If he can repeat his fastball a number of times, he’s going to be really good.”

Las Vegas (14-11, 8-8) scored twice in the fourth inning — one on a Foothill throwing error and the other on Delgado’s RBI double.

Delgado and Freimuth each had an RBI single in the sixth inning to extend the lead to 9-0 and finished with three RBIs apiece.

Kelton Lachelt’s double scored Noah Higgins in the seventh for Foothill. Lachelt was 2-for-4 and Higgins 2-for-3 with a double for the Falcons (10-14, 5-10).

Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at aferguson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0430. Follow him on Twitter: @af_ferguson

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