Baseball secures a close 5-3 win against Thacher


Ella Nicolle

Bronson Taylor, ’24, prepares to catch the ball in hopes of stoping the opposing team from stealing third base. His eyes follow the ball as he concentrates on catching it.

Nisha Reddy and Linda Manzo

During a windy day on April 19 in the spring season, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) Dragons baseball team battled against the Thacher School Toads and took the close game with a final score of 5-3.

Xander Belchere, ’22, hurls the ball at the opposing player. He watches it fly through the air and is satisfied when the opposing team gets a strike. (Ella Nicolle)

Entering the game swinging, Thacher’s lead off batter doubled on a fly ball to left field. Quickly ending their momentum before it had a chance to rise, Thacher grounded out to starting pitcher Xander Belchere ‘22, and he then wrapped up the inning by striking out two batters.

Belchere was recognized by head Coach Craig Stevens postgame, saying, “Xander pitched a great job, he made 97 pitches and he controlled the game very well.”

Lunging to the side, Joseph Poterack, ’22, grabs the ball hoping to stop the team from reaching first base. The team yells from the dug out, excited that he caught the ball. (Ella Nicolle)

In the bottom of the rapid first inning, Joe Poteracke ‘22 grounded out to second base before Aidan Gomez ‘25 reached first on, an error by the Thacher third baseman. The Dragons then ended the inning by getting caught in a double play when Belchere grounded out to second base and Gomez was caught in the crossfire. 

Coach Stevens broke down the first four innings in a critical way, “I think we could’ve come out with more energy, put in a little more effort, not started 4 innings with an error, and played the game that we were used to playing, which we didn’t do today.”

The second inning began with a leadoff single, and the runner advanced to second base on an error before rounding the bases solely off of wild pitches, placing Thacher above the Dragons, 1-0. 

Hoping to hit a home run, Cole Hill, ’23, swings at the ball that comes flying at him. After hitting the ball, he runs toward first base. (Ella Nicolle)

Rewriting the scoreboard, the Dragons then came back with three runs in the bottom of the third. On a sacrifice fly to center field, Leo Pankratz ‘24 was the first to cross the plate. The rally continued as Belchere singled, placing runners at first and second. Gomez then slammed a triple into center field and scored himself on a wild pitch, bringing the lead to 4-1. 

Recalling this rally after the game, pitcher Belchere shared that “Hitting’s contagious…the motivation of the first hit just kept us going.” This motivation was enough to hold Thacher at one run until the top of the seventh, where the Dragons then allowed two additional runs. 

Jack Pankratz, ’22, throws the ball at the opposing team. His goal being to cause the other team to strike out. (Ella Nicolle)

Before this could occur, the Dragons all but ensured the win in the bottom of the sixth, when another Dragon rally broke out. Stevens led off with a single to center field and pinch runner Eli White ‘23 was able to secure a stolen base to place himself in scoring position. To bring in White, Boden Carr ‘23 had a whopping double to left field, giving the Dragons a four run lead as the scoreboard read 5-1. 

Coming in to relieve Belchere, Jack Pankratz ‘24 concluded the top of the seventh as Thacher made their last attempt to grasp the game. With line drives to each of the outfielders, Thatcher was able to secure two runs before finally going down, ending the game at 5-3. 


The Dragons will have their next rematch league game on Friday, April 22 against the Toads at Thacher School, hoping to up their offensive campaign against Thacher and provide the same result.

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