Wendy Alexander/The Madera tribune
Liberty’s Colton Cardoza rips a double against Dinuba in a make-up game last week. He ripped another double in Thursday’s 8-1 victory over the Washington Union Panthers.
For the second time this season, the Liberty Hawks baseball team came back to flip the script on a team that had recently beaten them easily.
The Hawks’ latest revenge game ended in an 8-1 home win against Washington Union-Easton on Thursday, just three days after losing 5-0 on the road against the same team.
“Monday, we came out flat. I wasn’t real pleased with the way we came out Monday,” Liberty head coach Mario Cosma said. “It was a great response today. The guys played really well.”
Hawks’ starting pitcher Gage Arter went the whole way, allowing five hits and striking out seven batters. It was Arter’s second complete game of the season.
“My arm feels good,” Arter said. “It’s about midseason form, getting ready for the home stretch.”
The Hawks avenged another brutal loss earlier in the season, when they lost 24-2 against Yosemite on March 20, then beat the same team twice in a span of eight days by a combined 41-8.
“Coming back from a loss and winning after getting our butts kicked is a great feeling,” Arter said. “It sets the attitude for the team and gets everybody ready for the next.”
In Thursday’s win against Washington Union, senior Bradley Moon led the Hawks with two RBIs. Moon’s first RBI in the third inning gave the Hawks a 5-0 lead and his second made it 6-0 in the fifth.
Senior Colton Cardoza also continued to build on his strong season, getting two hits and scoring two runs.
“I’ve been seeing the ball really well lately,” Cardoza said. “It’s coming through finally. It’s my senior year and it’s great to get the hits.”
After the Hawks took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, sophomore Quaid Copher hit a ball down the left line in the second inning to bring in the Hawks’ third run. Senior Chase Schellenger then followed up with a hit, which skipped past the second baseman and helped bring in another run to make it 4-0.
The Panthers advanced a runner to third base in the fourth inning, but still came up scoreless as the Hawks completed a double play and added a strikeout to end the inning without harm.
“We do our homework, guys know where to be positioned,” Cosma said. “When we’re executing at a high level, we feel that our chances are pretty good. Today was a testament to these guys. They know how to win. It’s good to see that they’re getting that winning swagger back. I just hope that it continues into next week.”
The Panthers’ only run of the game came in the seventh inning, where Arter gave up two hits and struck out one batter.
“We hit the ball hard today, Gage Arter gave us a great outing. He’s having a great season for us,” Cosma said. “These guys really want to compete. Today was a great effort and I was really pleased with the effort today in all phases.”