Harding nearly snaps out of slump

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Harding's Alex Cardosa slides under the tag of Central catcher Ricardo Greene in the Hilltoppers 20-5 win on Monday at Beardsley Park. (Photo by Brian A. Pounds)

Harding’s Alex Cardosa slides under the tag of Central catcher Ricardo Greene in the Hilltoppers 20-5 win on Monday at Beardsley Park. (Photo by Brian A. Pounds)

It took Harding 20 games last season to record its first win — an 8-7 defeat of city rival Bassick.
The Presidents’ first triumph of 2014 nearly came a lot earlier, but their hopes were dashed in a 15-run eighth inning.
Yes, 15 runs.
Bridgeport Central plated a run in the seventh to force extras, then exploded for 15 runs on 13 hits in the eighth inning. Eight of those runs and six of those hits were recorded before the first out. Six more runs and five more hits came before the second out.
Harding coach Gary Diaz lauded his program’s progress, saying the players have made “great strides,” but he’s also used to seeing results like Monday’s.
“No matter what we do it snowballs,” Diaz said.
The Presidents led 4-0 after one inning on singles by Wilfredo Robles and Marcelino Sanchez. Anthony Dones snapped a 4-4 tie in the fifth on a straight steal of home.
Central third baseman Josh Nieves, who scored the tying run in the seventh, knew the Hilltoppers weren’t playing to their potential.
“That’s not Central baseball at all,” he said.
Central improved to 1-4 on the season, while Harding dropped to 0-4. So far this year, the Presidents have been outscored 55-11.
Despite the Presidents’ struggles, Diaz wants his players to conduct themselves in the right way on the field. They did that on Monday.
“It’s not about how we look, but it’s more along the lines of how we conduct ourselves and how we carry ourselves as a team and as individuals,” Diaz said. “It’s a direct reflection on me and the school and the city.”

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