The Washington High School baseball team found itself in the same position this time last year.
It had won the opener of the Transbay Series against Oakland Tech and went into the second game with a chance to claim its first Transbay title since 2006.
The Eagles failed to get the job done a year ago, but did not let the opportunity slip away again.
Behind a strong performance from Chris Hau on the mound and at the plate, Washington was able to avenge its 2011 Transbay loss by scoring four runs in the first and three more in the fourth to beat Oakland Tech 7-4 on Tuesday, sweeping the series 2-0.
“We talked about our approach,” Washington coach Rob Fung said. “We have quite a few seniors on this team and they had a taste of it [last year]. We had a better approach coming into this series.”
Washington got going offensively when Dane Vande Gucthe took off for third base on a steal attempt and saw a throw from Oakland Tech catcher Evan Williams sail into left field, allowing Vande Gucthe to score and tie the game up at 1-1.
Run-scoring singles from Chris Yee and Gio Soloranzo capped off the inning and had the Eagles up 4-1.
“It’s always important to score as quick as you can, as early as you can, especially late in the season because all the teams playing now are good teams,” Fung said. “If you get that opportunity or slight window that opens up, you have to take advantage of it.”
Hau settled down after a rough first inning and retired nine of the next 11 batters.
“Finding my balance point is the main key to it because if you’re rattled, you’re going to be all over the place,” Hau said. “The catcher comes out and tells me to calm it down, just catch my balance and you do.”
After missing out on a bases-loaded chance in the third, Washington found the bases loaded again in the fourth with Hau at the plate.
He ripped a single down the left-field line, which scored Javon Phillips and Jordan Wilson, and gave the Eagles a commanding 6-1 lead.
“He pitched well and to get a couple of extra hits to add on to our lead was huge,” Fung said.
Hau threw six innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits, and went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Once the Eagles had a commanding lead, Fung knew the big inning was something his team needed to prevent.
“We knew we had the lead and we knew that we didn’t want to give up the big inning and if we refrained from that, I think we were going to be in good shape,” Fung said.