Gauna’s one-hitter carries Owls past Cornerstone

 

By Jeff Berger

Anvil Herald Publisher

 

     Kaleb Gauna’s one-hit pitching performance on a chilly Monday afternoon, March 1, at Bridges Field, led the Hondo Owls to a 1-0 win over Cornerstone.

     The win lifted the Owls to 2-3 on the year, heading into the South Texas Slugfest this weekend, March 4-6. The Owls will play twice Thursday, twice on Friday and once more on Saturday.

     In Marion’s 5th Annual Bulldog Classic last weekend, Hondo went 1-3, finishing third in their pool and then falling to La Vernia in the matchup of third-place teams.

     While Gauna was allowing just the one hit to Cornerstone on Monday – a one-out double in the seventh spoiled the no-hit bid – Warriors’ pitcher Ivan Hoyt was sharp as well, limiting the Owls to just three hits. But Hondo put two of those together in the fourth inning to bring in the game’s lone run home. Carson Winchester singled to left, opening the inning and becoming Hondo’s first base runner. After Kaden Lentz bunted him to second, Brandon J. Garcia lined a single up the middle to bring home Winchester.

     The Owls’ only other runner came when Trey Dickens led off the fifth with a single, moved to second on Gauna’s sacrifice bunt and stole third. But he was left stranded there.

     In the second and fourth innings, Cornerstone drew leadoff walks. A line drive right at first baseman Will Winchester turned into an unassisted double play in the second. After the walk to start the fourth, the Warriors’ runner was caught stealing by freshman catcher Leland Rodriguez. The leadoff batter in the sixth got aboard via a dropped third strike. But again, a line drive to a lunging second baseman, Carson Winchester, led to another runner getting doubled off.

After Cornerstone’s double in the seventh, by the pitcher Hoyt, two infield ground balls retired the side, preserving the 1-0 win. Gauna recorded eight strikeouts.

During the Marion tourney, the Owls opened the season with a 7-2 win over Lytle last Thursday morning. Hondo plated five runs in the bottom of the first and added two in the second. Tourney time limits stopped the game in the fourth inning. Gauna and Dickens each drove in two runs, while Gauna struck out 10 batters.

In the midday game at Marion, the Owls held a 2-0 lead over Lago Vista after three innings. But the Vikings tied it in the fourth and got one more in the fifth for a 3-2 win over the Owls. Hondo had taken its 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second.

Thursday evening, Hondo again took the early lead, going up 1-0 in the first, but Marion put up multiple runs in the third and fifth to take the 8-2 victory. 

Saturday, facing La Vernia, which had finished third in Friday’s Pool B, the Owls were no-hit by the Bears’ starting pitcher. LV put up runs in the first three innings and went on to a 6-0 win.

In the tourney championship Saturday afternoon, Marion recorded a 4-3 win over Blanco.

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