By Alec Nunez
The Tustin Tillers took on the Utah Braves this week in all-star fashion. Both teams experienced their fair share of ups and downs and had their own unique foothold on the game. In a season of twists and turns following multiple defeats and victories, the Tillers turned the tide of their struggles in their favor. In a blowout victory, the Tillers scored multiple runs and continuously denied the Braves a chance to make a comeback. In this game of awe and enthrallment, many stars amongst the Tustin High baseball team made their presence known as they continued to uphold their advantage with mistakes few and far between.
The game started with a bang as the Tillers demonstrated their dominance on the field within the first inning. Come bottom of the first, the Tillers had managed to keep the score tied at 0-0 with the last three batters from the Braves striking out at home plate. After switching the offensive and defensive roles, number 24, Isaac Hernandez, of the Tillers uplifted the crowd when he was able to take first base after being pitched multiple poor deliveries. Finding himself as the first Tiller to take a base, Hernandez took a lead off first and made a dash to steal second as the ball soared through the air and into the catcher’s glove.
The Braves were able to keep the Tillers on their toes with their exceptional defense. The catcher, always jolting to an upright position, was prepared to hurl the ball at any base potentially being stolen. The Tillers, however, returned the favor. When it came their turn to defend, pitcher 25, Patrick Ladd, delivered perfectly executed pitches time and time again as he continued to deny every single batter the chance to take a base.
The game became energized when Tiller batter 30, Antonio Bennett, sent the pitch far center field. With the crack of his bat, Bennett took off for first and rounded his way to second, nearly scoring a home run as the Tiller’s gained an RBI (Runner Batted In). As player number 30 found himself on third and eyeing home plate, he took the chance and made a run for it, as the next pitch made its way past the Braves’ catcher. Sliding into the safety of home plate, the catcher’s mitt rested itself on Bennett’s thigh with ball in hand. As the dust settled, the umpire declared him to be out, but after much reconsideration, altered his declaration in favor of the runner being safe and making a successful run home, leading the Tillers further into their landslide victory.
The Tillers and the Braves put on an amazing game, both teams performing spectacularly in their own rights. On the scoreboard lay a reflection of the Tiller’s triumph obtained through a trial by fire. At the end of their winding road rested victory and the Tustin Tillers seized it without a second thought. With a performance like that demonstrated today, the Tillers are sure to add countless more victories to their promising wall of achievements.