Foothill rides early momentum to baseball win

Momentum shifts rarely occur after only half an inning, but the Foothill baseball team benefited from one Tuesday.

The host Falcons got an early boost when starter Zak Avery escaped a first-inning jam unscathed and coasted to a 10-2 victory over Campbell Hall (Calif.) at the Blazer Spring Bash.

Foothill (12-2) finished pool play undefeated and will meet Alta (Utah) in a semifinal at 1 p.m. today at Sierra Vista.

“It’s a good win for us,” Foothill coach Matt Iglitz said. “Our approach is we’re just trying to get better on a daily basis.”

Avery allowed a triple to Jordan Novick on the game’s first pitch but needed only nine more pitches to strand the runner. That sparked Foothill’s offense, which jumped all over Vikings starter Zach Novick in the bottom of the inning.

“Any time you leave a runner at third in that situation, it’s big for momentum,” Iglitz said. “Getting that zero was important. It got the guys ready to go.”

Bligh Madris opened with a double down the right-field line, and he scored on Tyler Van Stone’s one-out single, the first of four straight hits by the Falcons.

Janson Neff and Royce Salay added run-scoring singles, and pinch runner Joel Angulo stole home for a 4-0 lead when Spencer Throgmorton got caught in a rundown between first and second.

“It was huge because we got the momentum right away, and we were able to put them away early,” Van Stone said. “We took the lead and never let them back in the game.”

Madris finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs, and Van Stone went 2-for-3 with a two-run triple in the sixth inning for the Falcons.

Avery went six innings and scattered three hits while striking out three. His only trouble came in the third inning when he issued all four of his walks and threw 36 of his 90 pitches.

Ethan Baer’s infield single with the bases loaded in the third cut Foothill’s lead to 5-1.

“It’s a relief knowing my team can come back right away,” Avery said. “It’s comforting having a good defense behind me as well. I always trust them.”

Foothill manufactured a run without a hit in the fourth inning, as Ryan Moyes scored on a wild pitch. The Falcons then tacked on four runs in the sixth.

“Any time you put 10 runs up on the board, it’s a good performance,” Iglitz said. “I liked our approach today.”

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

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