BASEBALL: St. Francis Breezes by San Benito

Lancers full arsenal on display in win over Balers; Blandino and Zhang each have big showings.

The Score: St. Francis 8, San Benito 1

The Stars: St. Francis pitcher Kevin Zhang provided six innings of shut out ball allowing only one hit, while fanning four on Thursday afternoon in the non-league matchup against San Benito.

On the offensive side, St. Francis senior Alex Blandino showcased his skills at the dish going 3-for-4 on the day with three RBIs, two runs scored, and two stolen bases in the 8-1 St. Francis victory at St. Francis High in Mountain View. St. Francis senior Richard Prigatano contributed as well, unloading a monstrous home run blast to left field in the fourth inning to pad the already lofty advantage for the host team. Prigatano went 1-for-2 with a homer in the win.

The Lancers also provided plenty of pressure on the bases paths. They stole seven bases and drew six walks in the convincing home triumph.

The Turning Point: St. Francis struck early during its first at-bats of the game. A scorching RBI double to the left field gap by Blandino opened the game's scoring. The Lancers led 2-0 after one. After two innings of play, St. Francis went ahead 4-0 and never looked back.

St. Francis continued to put pressure on Fuss and the Haybalers with some patience in the box and precise timing on the bases as they successfully executed double steals twice during the rest of the afternoon affair.

The Quote: “A good game for us to come back to,” said St. Francis’s Zhang on his team solid performance against San Benito. “It was good for us to come back and play our style of game—and hopefully we can build on this in the next coming weeks.”

Today’s win snapped a three-game losing streak suffered during a national tournament held last week in Southern California.

What’s Next? St. Francis (21-4, 11-1 WCAL) has a chance to clinch league as they host division foe Archbishop Mitty (19-4-1, 10-2) on Tuesday (5/3) in a crucial league match.

The Bottom Line: All the pre-season publicity went to West Catholic league rival Archbishop Mitty. As the WCAL season draws to a close, it’s been the Lancers that have blasted through all comers, defeating every section foe in front of them except one—Valley Christian defeated St. Francis in late March—en route to a gaudy 21-4 record overall.

St. Francis looked sharp in all aspects today. They’ll need a similar effort next Tuesday against a Mitty team looking to a avenge a lopsided 12-3 defeat in the team’s first meeting on March 29 in San Jose.




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