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Liberty advances to semifinals 8-3 win

Nugesse Ghebrendrias/The Madera Tribune
The Liberty Hawks baseball team honored first responders before Thursday’s playoff victory over Rosamond.


The Liberty Hawks baseball team capitalized on a surge in the late innings, scoring two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to overwhelm the Rosamond Roadrunners, 8-3, in the quarterfinals of the Div. V Central Section playoffs.


Liberty’s strong effort was led by Colton Cardoza who had two hits and three RBIs, along with pitcher Nathanael Samarin, who surrendered one run over six innings with eight strikeouts.


“We hit the ball really well,” head coach Mario Cosma said. “We had 14 hits and Nathanael pitched six strong innings for us. We have No. 1 seed Minarets up next, we have to be at the top of our game. Our fan support has been traveling well and gives us confidence. We’re telling our players it’s time to concentrate and keep our focus.”


The Hawks faced top seed Minarets on Tuesday for a berth in the Valley Championship game on the line.


The action picked up in the bottom of the second after Bradley Moon’s one out single. Moon stole second to set up the Hawks in scoring position. Moon scored on an error to get the Hawks on the board.


The bottom of the third followed the same script as the Hawks scored a lone run in the inning. Samarin led off the inning with a double and Cardoza followed with one of his own. The Hawks led 2-0 after Samarin crossed the plate.


Things went from bad to worse for Rosamond as the Hawks continued their aggressive approach at the plate.


David Williams got on base to open the bottom of the fourth inning after an error on the Roadrunners. Chase Schellenger doubled to continue the Hawks’ momentum.


Samarin was intentionally walked before Cardoza doubled home Williams and Copher and Liberty enjoyed a four-run lead.


Moon pushed that lead further in the bottom of the fifth inning after his patience at the plate earned him a walk. Gage Arter pushed Moon over before Williams’ RBI single pushed another Hawks’ runner across the plate.


The score read 5-0, but the Hawks got more. Copher drew a walk of his own and, after he stole second base, Liberty had two men on in scoring position.


Schellenger then hit a sacrifice fly to left to bring home Williams.


With the momentum on its side, Liberty pushed two more runs across in the bottom of the sixth inning after Eli Gonzalez singled and stole second base.


He set up back-to-back RBI singles for Moon and Garret McFarland.


Rosamond pushed three runs across in total, however, they couldn’t keep up with the Hawks’ aggressive approach at the plate.