Recaps of Selected 2005 Games 
by Head Coach David Kawamoto

March 21 -- Pioneers 3 - Milpitas 3
Cupertino played Milpitas to a 3-3 tie when the game was called after 7 innings due to rain. Mike Fallert pitched 6 strong innings under difficult conditions with the rain and mud. Milpitas started with two runs in the first with a double by centerfielder Gapuz followed by a walk to ss Dejesus. A sacrifice fly to centerfield by their clean up hitter, Ames. scored the first run. DH Lagman followed with a base hit to drive in the second run. Cupertino got its first run with Matt Ravadge reaching first base on a error by ss Dejesus. Richard Kurasaki ran for Ravadge and moved to second on a wild pitch. Leo Haley laid down a perfect bunt for a sacrfice to move the pinch runner Richard Kurasaki to third. Then Mike Fallert followed with a sacrifice fly to centerfield scoring Richard for Cupertino's first run. In the fourth, Tai Mitchell reached first on a error to start the rally with Aaron Headrick following up with a single. Ali Hussain walked to load the bases and Leo Haley came through with a two out infield basehit, just beating the throw to first base. Heads up running by Aaron Headrick scored the second run by running hard and scoring from second, beating the throw to home. Milpitas tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with a run only to have Aaron Headrick make a leaping catch on a rocket line drive to third to end the inning. Both teams went scoreless until the dramatic bottom of the 7th where Todd Fitzgerald came in to strike out all three batters to end the game in a tie. Milpitas opened the bottom of the 7th with a walk then moved all the way to third on a errant pickoff play to first. Todd then buckled down to strike out Pennington for the first out. With intentional walks to the first and second hitters in the Milpitas lineup to load the bases. Todd was left to pitch to the third and fourth hitters in their lineup. With the wet ball and muddy conditions, it only magnified the ending. Relying only on his fastball and going to 3-2 count on both batters, Todd pounded his fastball, striking out both hitters to end the game. From a fan's standpoint the last inning had the drama of a world series bottom of the ninth and the fans going crazy.

March 14 -- Pioneers 4 - Milpitas 3
Cupertino wins in exciting fashion in the bottom of the 7th to beat Milpitas. Tai Mitchell had a career day for Cupertino getting three hits, 3 RBI's and driving in the winning run in the bottom of the 7th with a base hit to right field. Mike Fallert pitched another strong game going 6 innings giving up 2 runs and striking out 9 batters. He also had a good day at the bat going 2-4, scoring 2 runs and opening up the bottom of the 7th with a towering double to left center. The Cupertino bats got hot with a total of 10 hits with doubles coming from Mike and Cole Bridges. In all it was a much needed win after 4 tough losses against 4 top 15 CCS rated teams. The team battled throughout the four losses and hopefully take their experience with them, knowing they can compete at the toughest level. Next up for CHS is Los Altos with Todd Fitgerald taking the mound.

March 5 -- Pioneers 2 - St.Francis 3
Cupertino battled St Francis for 8 innings in a close 3-2 loss. Todd Fitzgerald pitched 7 strong innings, overpowering the St Francis's lineup and stepping up to each challenge the powerhouse WCL brought at him. Todd had great defensive support behind him with diving catches from Nate Ardiaz and Aaron Headrick. Cupertino's infield played solid defense throughout the game to keep the score close.Our offense struggled the last two games, due in part to strong pitching from both Bellarmine and St Francis. What was good was that wewere able to generate runs with timely hitting and heads up base running from both Nate Ardiaz and Todd Fitgerald. The game went to the bottom of the eighth. Down one run, Cupertino opened the bottom of the eighth with a sharp base hit to right field by Aaron Headrick. Nate Ardiaz then worked Jared Lansford for a walk. Todd Fitzgerald then got a base hit to load the bases for Tai Mitchell. Tai battled Lansford and hit a sharp line drive to the right side where the second baseman made a fine catch and doubling off Todd to end the game. Baseball is truly a game of inches.The important lesson from thishard fought game is that the Cupertino 9 rose to the challenge and can walk away with their heads held high. This week we start league games, playing last year's CCS runner up, Palo Alto,on Wednesday at Cupertino andtravel on Friday to last year's CCS Champion Wilcox.

Feb 28 -- Pioneers 1 - Bellarmine 3
Cupertino started play in the Bellarmine tournament on Monday against the host Bellarmine. We ended up on the short end of a very hard fought game 3-1. Bellarmine held a 1-0 lead through the fifth inning and broke through with 2 insurance runs in the bottom of the 6th. Mike Fallert pitched 5 strong innings, keeping the powerful Bellarmine lineup off balance with an assortment of pitches. Mike's pitching stats- 5 IP 6H 5K 1BB- indicate his outstanding performance. Cupertino continued to play good defense, which kept the game close in a great pitching duel.Bellarmine starting pitcher Erik Goerddel with his fastball was dominant throughout the game and the Bellarmine staff recorded 12 strike outs. Cupertino rallied to push a run across in the 7th inning but the rally ended with the final score of 3-1. Next up in the Bellarmine tournament, Tino faces the powerful St Francis ball club which is ranked 31st in the nation.

Feb 23 -- Pioneers 4 - Santa Teresa 1
Cupertino opened it's 2005 baseball season with an exciting 4-1 victory over Santa Teresa. Both teams were scoreless until the 3rd inning when Aaron Headrick led off the inning with a double. Nate Ardiaz walked and Ali Hussain laid down a perfect bunt to move the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Santa Teresa intentionally walked Todd Fitzgerald, setting the stage for Tai Mitchell. Tai hit a hard line drive to right field for a base hit, scoring Aaron for the season's first run. Ryan Blake followed with another line drive base hit to right field, driving in two more runs. Cupertino added another run in the fourth inning with Nate Ardiaz doubling to left center and Ali Hussain driving him in with a single to right. Mike Fallert pitched six strong innings, getting defensive support, with a key double play and throwing 3 runners out at home to end Santa Teresa rallies. Todd Fitzgerald closed the seventh inning with a strikeout and two weak pop ups to the infield. It was a hard fought game with a good Santa Teresa team and an exciting start for Cupertino.