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Photo by Rodney Kitchen
Barstow first baseman Austin Willis holds on a runner in a recent game. Willis drove in three runs in Wednesday's win over Silverado.

Aztecs end losing streak

BARSTOW • The Barstow baseball team ended its losing skid on Wednesday, handing a 5-1 defeat to visiting Silverado.

The Aztecs went into the match having lost their last five games, so the victory was a very welcome one.

“We came out strong and had all our fundamentals down,” said head coach Kenny Phillips. “Hopefully today was a turning point.”

The Aztecs never trailed in the match, getting on the board in the second inning on an RBI single by Nathan Ridge. Austin Willis singled in a run in the third.

The Hawks scored their run in the fifth, but Barstow came right back with three in the sixth. Zeke Haenelt singled, followed by a two-run homer by Willis. Storm Phillips walked, advanced on fielder’s choices by Austin Duran and Ridge, and came home on an error.

Austin Crank started on the mound and tossed the first four innings, allowing just one hit while walking only one and striking out six. Haenelt pitched the last three, giving up a run on three hits, walking one and fanning two.

“He hadn’t been throwing bad, but his mechanics were a little off,” said coach Phillips of Haenelt. “Here at the end of the season, he has matured a lot. I’ve seen some real maturity in him in the last few weeks, and it was great to see him get his second hit.”

The Hawks fall to 5-16, 0-9 with the loss, while the Aztecs improve to 8-8, 4-5.

Barstow has three games left, one against Silverado and two against Granite Hills. The pair against Hills will be tough, as the Cougars, at 15-8, 8-2, are in first place in the Desert Sky League.

“We have to win two of our last three to make playoffs,” said coach Phillips. “It’s always tough to play Granite, but they’re beatable. They’re on our radar, and if we can show them no mercy for one game, that’s all we need.”

The Aztecs host the Cougars for their Senior Day game on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

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