— Scott Ericson (@EricsonSports) April 17, 2019
STAMFORD—If a leadoff hitter’s job is to get on base and score runs, Danbury’s Javon Hernandez is angling to get his picture up on the wall as the employee of the week.
Hernandez reached base in each of his five plate appearances Wednesday, scoring three times and reaching third twice.
Hernandez’s spark at the top of the lineup helped propel Danbury to a 13-6 win over Westhill.
The senior shortstop led off the top of the first with a walkand scored a two-run single to left by Andrew Philbin.
“Especially leading off an away game, I feel like I should work the count a little bit and get on and try to create something for my team,” Hernandez said. “I got on with three-straight walks and my 2, 3, 4 batters came through today and hit very well and got me in every time.”
Hernandez also walked and scored in the second as part of a six-run inning, putting Danbury up 8-1.
Spencer Barnett drove in two runs in the second on a single to left with Thai-Ler Sestokas and Justin Hope also driving in runs in the inning.
The Hatters batted around in the second and again in the fifth when they scored five more times.
Hernandez had a RBI-single and scored his third run of the game in that fifth inning and Barnett drove in his third run.
In total, eight of Danbury’s starting nine reached base, with seven of those players scoring runs.
Westhill got one in the first on a RBI-single by Joey Gambino.
The Vikings got three unearned runs in the fourth with Gambino plating two more, but ran into the third out, curtailing the rally.
“(Danbury) was super aggressive and did a good job of offensively putting pressure on us,” Westhill coach DJ Mulvany said. “We didn’t really have a counter punch. We probably played the worst game we have in eight games. We didn’t throw strikes and they were in hitter’s counts constantly and they did a good job when they were ahead in the count, making us pay.”
Montana Semmel hit a solo home run to center field in the seventh for the Vikings.
The win was the third in a row for Danbury (5-3), including a win over No. 5 Ridgefield Tuesday.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Javon Hernandez, Danbury. He did it all at the plate, on the bases and in the field for Danbury.
“It gives us an advantage when (Hernandez) gets in the box because they are talking about watching the drag bunt and not letting him get on base. That’s a lot of pressure for a pitcher to have to worry about an individual guy,” Danbury coach Shaun Ratchford said. “Once he’s on base, he reads the ball down so well that I don’t really have to coach him out there. I put him on his own a lot of the time and he makes reads and has a great baseball instinct. I didn’t coach that, that is something he came to the table with.”
DANBURY 13, WESTHILL 6
DANBURY 260 050 0—13 12 2
WESTHILL 100 301 1—6 10 1
Records: D—5-3; W—6-2
Batteries: D—Matt Sabene (W), Justin Hope (7) and Jake Matson; W—Craig Ottaviano (L), Tyler Leuders (3), Joe Kopec (5) and Matthew O’Connor