By Ryan Butler
The Brandon High School varsity baseball team capped off its regular season with a convincing 6-1 win at Jefferson. In a tight 1-0 game early, the Eagles offense pushed out five more runs in the late innings to defeat the Dragons.
The victory, anchored by great pitching and clutch hitting, was the perfect microcosm of the entire season for a team with hopes of a deep post-season run. The Eagles went into the post-season with a 17-6 regular-season record, a 9-1 record in District 7A-8 play and a first-place spot for the district tournament.
No individual player may have better represented the team’s success in both its game against Jefferson and during the season than senior, Eric Hinostroza. Third on the team in batting with a .353 average, Hinostroza was also second on the team in stolen bases, doubles and RBIs. He allowed one run in the season finale against the Dragons, amazingly increasing his team-leading ERA to a still-dazzling 0.55. The team leader in innings pitched also set the pace for wins, securing seven victories in nine starts.
Hinostroza was far from alone in the Eagles success this year. Miquel Fajardo was the team’s leader in nearly every offensive category, teaming with Hinostroza in the heart of the order. The senior posted a .364 average, 24 hits and 16 RBIs. Junior Austin Sullivan was also a key contributor to the Eagles offense, leading the team with a team-high .467 on-base percentage.
Behind Hinostroza, Brandon had strong options in the rotation. Freshman Antonio Velez racked up five wins while posting a 1.36 ERA. Along with Tyler Martin, Ryan Anderson and Drayden Williams each member pitched at least 20 innings and posted ERA’s below 3.10. Together, the quintet combined for 17 wins, five saves and a 1.80 ERA.
For more information, please visit fhsaa.org.