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Hoover baseball battles back from three-run deficit to beat Burroughs

Baseball: Tornadoes execute a walk-off suicide squeeze in eighth inning to pull out 4-3 Pacific League win over Indians.

May 02, 2014|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
  • Hoover baseball celebrates its walk-off win over Burroughs on Friday.
Hoover baseball celebrates its walk-off win over Burroughs… (Tim Berger Staff…)

GLENDALE — Trailing by three runs to Burroughs High, the Hoover baseball team was looking for something to ignite it late in Friday’s Pacific League game.

That spark might just have come in the form of a defensive play.

In the top of the sixth inning with Burroughs at bat, the Tornadoes got out of the frame on a double play that ended with an Indians runner being thrown out at home after a fly to right field.

PHOTOS: Hoover comeback results in 4-3 victory over Burroughs

Using the play as motivation, Hoover came back and tied the game in the bottom of the sixth and eventually won the contest on a walk-off suicide squeeze in the eighth inning to complete a 4-3 comeback against visiting Burroughs.

The defensive play came when the Indians had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth. With Thomas Wilson at third base, Chris Peres lifted a fly ball to right field. Hoover’s Javier Cisneros caught the fly and, with Wilson tagging up at third, fired a laser that reached the plate with no bounce. Tornadoes catcher Fidel Hernendez applied the tag and Wilson was called out for a double play.

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“When Javier threw the runner out at the plate I think that might have woke us up a little bit,” Hoover Coach Brian Esquival said. “I think that kind of led to what happened the next inning when we scored three runs and it was that play that kind of ignited us.”

Tying the score at 3 in the sixth, that set up Hoover (11-9, 4-6 in league) for a dramatic ending in the eighth inning. Hernendez led off the extra frame with a long double to the fence in center field. He then slid into third just ahead of the tag on a fielder’s choice attempt. The next batter, J.P. Gallegos, was intentionally walked. With the bases loaded, Jonathan Ramos came to the plate. On the first pitch he saw, Ramos pushed a perfectly placed bunt along the first-base side which allowed Hernendez to easily motor home with the winning run.

“It kind of worked out in our favor when they put JP on the base,” Esquival said. “Jonathan handles the bat really well and we didn’t want to wait, so he was able to get it down on the first pitch.”

For the Indians (10-11, 4-6), who like the Tornadoes, are fighting for the final guaranteed playoff spot from the league, the loss was a tough one.

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