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Hanford baseball continues hot start to season
Baseball

Hanford baseball continues hot start to season

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乐动体育Following a season where the Hanford baseball team made the Central Section Division II championship game, the Bullpups seem primed to make another run at possible Section and league titles.

Hanford defeated Frontier (Bakersfield) 1-0 in its home opener Thursday to move to 8-1 on the season.

乐动体育After going 21-11-1 last year, and falling in the Section title game to Redwood, the Bullpups are once again off to a hot start before play starts in the West Yosemite League.

乐动体育While Hanford lost a few key players from last season’s team, the Bullpups have seven returners that head coach Paul Arevalo believes could be key to any possible success.

“We have a lot of guys that were contributors to that team,” Arevalo said. “And they want to get back there.”

That includes pitcher Trevor Furtado, who pitched just two innings in 2015. Wednesday, he went the distance, striking out eight and only allowing four hits and one walk.

“That’s the second quality start we’ve got from him,” Arevalo said. “He got ahead of the count and that’s key.”

乐动体育Arevalo sees him as a possible No. 2 for the Bullpups starting rotation behind Jensen Brotherson, who went 8-2 last season with a 1.76 ERA in 63.2 innings (51 K’s, 29 BB’s). Brotherson is also the leading batter returning after hitting .319 with 16 RBIs and nine doubles.

Also returning are Juan Mendez, who has already picked up a pair of saves, Roberto Leon (.306 BA), Grant Champlin, Joey Popejoy and Galen Dominguez.

乐动体育Against the Titans, Mendez was 2-for-3, including an infield single where he beat out the throw.

After missing last season due to injury, Arevalo said Quinn Jones has turned into a contributor as well. Jones was 2-for-3 against Frontier, scoring the game’s only run on a throwing error to first base in the bottom of the third inning.

During that 8-1 start, Hanford’s only loss came on a walk-off to Kerman where the Bullpups led going into the bottom of the seventh. They’ve also picked up wins against Div. I Central and Redwood in a rematch of last year’s title game. The Bullpups also beat Frontier earlier in the week in Bakersfield 6-5.

乐动体育Arevalo said the Central win was big confidence booster for the team.

乐动体育As Hanford gets ready to play in the Fresno Easter Classic then league play, there’s plenty of time for the team to get better, Arevalo said.

“We’re just trying to jell as a team,” he said. “There’s the appetizer, the entrée’ and the dessert. Right now, this is the appetizer. League is the entrée and Valley is the dessert. We’re ready to eat some entrée and hopefully get to taste the dessert. For right now, we’ll keep eating the bread sticks.”

The reporter can be reached at 583-2431 or jbutters@addaptcreative.com. Follow him on twitter @jsbutters.

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