Baseball: Loyola finds a closer to upset No. 1 Harvard-Westlake
Just when Harvard-Westlake had momentum and had come back from a 3-0 deficit in a Mission League home game on Friday against Los Angeles Loyola, junior right-hander Nathan Hadley closed the door in a decisive fifth-inning pressure-filled situation. He escaped a bases loaded situation with none out, and Loyola went on to upset the Wolverines, 6-3.
"I've been in situations like that my whole life," Hadley said. "I'm kind of used to it. Ever since I was a little kid since I was 7, I've been in tight games coming into pitch. I like the pressure."
Loyola (4-3, 1-1) held a 3-0 lead on the strength of an RBI single by Brandon Caruso and a two-run double by Jack Gilmore. Then Harvard-Westlake (7-1, 1-1) tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run double by Alex Horowitz off Kyle Beadles and an RBI single by Arden Pabst off Hadley.
Hadley walked the next two batters to load the bases with none out. But he calmly got a force out at the plate, a line out and a fly ball to end the threat. Then Loyola added a run in the sixth on two errors and two more in the seventh on a Caruso double and an RBI single by Gilmore, who had three hits.
Hadley was a highly regarded freshman two years ago who played junior varsity. He didn't pitch much last season as a sophomore, but he's expected to be the Cubs' closer, and he passed his first big test.
-- Eric Sondheimer