Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
In his first start of the season, Liberty’s Nathanael Samarin allowed one run in five innings during Monday’s 4-1 win over Sierra.
Despite managing just three hits, the Liberty Hawks baseball team improved to 2-0 in the North Sequoia League with a 4-1 victory over the Sierra-Tollhouse Chieftains.
First-time starter Nathanael Samarin allowed just one run over five innings with three strikeouts. Brixton Gomes got the save on the mound throwing two perfect innings Monday afternoon to celebrate their head coach’s birthday.
“It’s Nathanael’s first start in high school,” head coach Kevin Rosenwinkel said. “We held him off for a few reasons. We were hoping to get him a start, so today was his opportunity. He was very impressive. We have a good prospect for the future.”
Although Sierra starter Zach Dennis allowed just three hits, the Hawks were able to get the win.
“We play small ball especially on our field,” Rosenwinkel said. “We have a big field. We don’t have any guys that will put it over the fence. Pop flies get held up on our field. If we can put the ball on the ground, we have speed up and down the line up. We do whatever we have to do to get the run in.”
Eli Gonzalez, Samarin and Isaiah Torres were the only Hawks to get a hit.
The Hawks took advantage of Dennis’ wildness to open the game. Leadoff batter Gonzalez and No. 2 hitter Bradley Moon were hit by pitches. After a strikeout, Samarin doubled in both runners with a drive to right-centerfield.
The Hawks added to their lead in the fourth. With one out, Torres singled and stole second. He tried to steal third and the Sierra catcher threw the ball into left field to allow Torres to jog home on the error for a 3-1 lead.
The Chieftains scored a run in the fifth on a lead-off single, sacrifice bunt, a single and a forceout.
However, Gomes came in and got four of the next six batters to groundout to keep Sierra off the bases.
Liberty added an insurance run in the fifth. Jacob Brauer reached on an error to lead off the fifth. He stole second and went to third on a Gonzalez sacrifice. Brauer scored on a Moon groundout for the 4-1 victory.