Bingham pitcher Austin Florez watched his team load the bases with no outs in the second inning and come up empty, so he did what all good pitchers will do when they are allowed to hit.
He took matters into his own hands.
Florez hit a two-run homer to help ignite Bingham to a 10-1 win over Juan Diego on Friday afternoon.
Kade Cloward led off the top of the third with a triple. Florez then deposited a fastball over the left-field fence. The Miners added another run when Tyler Zupon singled and scored on a double from Tony Moderno to put Bingham up 3-1.
“When Kade Cloward tripled, I knew I had to wait for a good pitch and not try to do too much with it because we had stranded some runners in the previous inning,” Florez said.
“I got a low fastball. I’m pretty sure it would have gone out without any wind; I hit it pretty well.”
Florez gave himself another insurance run in the fourth when Cloward singled, stole second and continued on to third when the ball got past the catcher. He scored on a Florez sacrifice fly.
Juan Diego scored a run in the first when Pudge Davis got the Soaring Eagle going after he was hit by a pitch. Ryan Hughes bunted him to second and Davis scored on a single from Joe Strandgard.
Juan Diego came back for more in the second but Bingham center fielder Landon Measom auditioned for more innings out of the bullpen by effectively changing the game’s momentum with one play.
Josh Kirch led off the inning with a double down the left-field line. Florez struck out the next batter but Kirch stole third on the play. Kayin Kimmel hit a fly ball to Measom, who caught the ball and fired a strike to Zupon at home. He applied the tag for the third out of the inning.
“You can take your pick of either of those plays, they were both highlights,” said Bingham coach Joey Sato. “This is a great win over a great program. It doesn’t matter what level [3A] they’re at. They always play well.”
Bingham put the game away in the sixth when Trevor Carlile singled in two runs as part of a four-run inning for the Miners.
The win helped Bingham improve to 5-1 in the preseason while Juan Diego is now 7-3.