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Harper, Gators slam Foothill to take over top spot in Southeast

Green Valley coach Nick Garritano was quick to point out “there is a lot of baseball left” before his team enters the Sunrise Region playoffs.
But it’s hard to come by a bigger regular-season victory than the one the Gators earned at home Tuesday over Foothill.
Green Valley hit four home runs, including a grand slam from Cameron Harper, on the way to a 19-9 win over the Falcons in five innings.
“You’ve got to win this game to have any chance of winning the league, so it was a big game for us,” said Garritano, whose Gators (21-4, 8-1) took sole possession of first place in the Southeast League.
Foothill (16-4, 7-2) took the first regular-season game against Green Valley with an 8-5 win. By taking the second and final meeting, the Gators clinched a potential tiebreaker for postseason seeding if a tie with the Falcons remains after both teams receive one point for each league game won by defeated opponents.
“It feels great; it’s a huge win,” said Harper, who went 3-for-4 with five RBIs.
Harper crushed a full-count fastball to left field with two outs in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game, 7-7. Green Valley then took a 9-8 lead on Brett Harrison’s two-run homer in the fourth to put the Gators on top for good.
Later in the inning, Tariq Staton’s two-run blast and Casey Hicks’ solo shot came back-to-back to give the Gators a 13-8 cushion.
“We had a feeling there were going to be some long balls hit because the wind was blowing out of here (to left),” Garritano said. “But some of those balls that were hit, I don’t think the wind had any effect on them. There were some balls hit very hard.”
Green Valley scored six runs in both the fourth and fifth frames, capped with an RBI single by Anthony Uran to end the game.
Hicks was 3-for-4 with a home run and double for the Gators, and Staton went 2-for-4 with a home run, a triple and four RBIs. Teammates Gabe Douglas and Uran added two hits apiece.
Jordan Stewart was 3-for-3 with a home run for Foothill, which committed six errors. Kyle Moyes went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs for the Falcons.

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