San Jacinto 4, San Jacinto 3 (8 Innings)
My thoughts: A nice effort by Maranatha to bounce back from a 2-0 deficit and eventually take the lead. Some mistakes on the basebaths proved to be costly, as well as a couple of walks by Covey. As well has he battled, the old saying “walks can kill” came to fruition as two of his five walks resulted in runs. The never-say-die group of Minutemen should be fighting for another chance at a title next season, although they’re moving up in divisions.
Maranatha High School goes after its second CIF baseball title as it faces off against No. 1-seeded San Jacinto in the Division VI championship game at UC Riverside’s Sports Complex. Your’s truly will be there with live updates, so check back right here to keep up with what’s happening.
1. Erik Johnson, SS
2. Jordan Calloway, RF
3. Cory Popham, 3B
4. Dylan Covey, P
5. Danny Beckwith, 1B
6. Anthony Li, DH/Mark Jebbia, RF
7. Myles Neimeyer, C
8. Shafer Chulay, 2B
9. Joshua Forrester, LF
San Jacinto (21-8)
1. Sal Estanislao, CF
2. Travis Navarro, LF
3. Andrew Darwin, RF
4. Matt Tanner, C
5. Ren Marmolejo, DH/Steven Brown, 2B
6. T.J. Lucio, 3B
7. Matt Oden, P
8. Richard Rodriguez, 1B
9. Miguel Navarro, C
Top of the First
Johnson K. Calloway HBP. Popham bloop single to CF, runners on first and second. Covey struck out looking. Beckwith caught looking.
Bottom of the First
Estanislao fly to RF. Travis Navarro K, 2-3., Darwin BB, steals second, then third. Tanner infield single to deep SS (1-0). Covey picks off Tanner to end inning.
Top of the Second
Li grounder to SS, Neimeyer K, Chulay grounder to SS.
Bottom of the Second
Marmolejo BB, Lucio Sac 2-3. Oden K. Rodriguez groundout 1-3.
Top of the Third
Forrester single RF. Johnson Sac 3U. Calloway aboard on E6, Forrester taking third. Forrester caught in 1-2 rundown, Calloway to third. Popham pops out to LF in shallow CF.
Bottom of the Third
Miguel Navarro fly to RF. Estanislao double to RC, goes to third on WP. Travis Navarro safe on E3, Estanislao scores (2-0). Darwin walks. Tanner grounds into 6-4 force at second. (runners at first-third). Marmolejo struck out.
Top of the Fourth
Covey single to LC. Beckwith aboard on E5 (runners at first and second). Li fly out to CF. On a double steal, throw by catcher sails into LF to score Covey and send Beckwith the third. (2-1). Neimeyer struck out and Chulay grounds out to short.
Bottom of the Fourth
Lucio bloop single to RF. Oden sacrifice 5-3. Rodriguez fly to left. Jebbia gets pinch runner Sam Katz on 7-4 double play.
Top of the Fifth
Reuben Felipe on in relief for Oden going after eighth save. Forrester ground out 2-3 on close play. Johnson strikes out. Calloway draws walk. Popham grounds out to second.
Bottom of the Fifth
Miguel Navarro fly to CF. Estanislao single to LF. Travis Navarro ground out to third on bang-bang play, Estanislao to third. He is picked off by Covey 1-5.
Top of the Sixth
Covey single to LF and is caught stealing 2-6. Beckwith aboard on two-base error on third baseman. Li towering double to LC to score Beckwith (2-2). Pinch runner Danny Sommers picked off at second. pinch-hitter Anthony Chavez walks. Chlay grounds into a 6-4 force.
Bottom of the Sixth
Darwin strikes out (fourth for Covey). Tanner walks (fourth for Covey). Marmolejo grounds out 3-1, Tanner to second. Lucio grounds out to second.
Top of the Seventh
Forrester caught looking. Johnson caught looking. Calloway grounds out to third.
Bottom of the Seventh
Felipe fly out to RF. Rodriguez fly out to CF. Pinch-hitter John Mahle caught looking (fith by Covey).
Top of the Eighth
Popham fly out to LF. Covey walks. Beckwith singles to right-center, runners at first and third. Covey scores on balk by Felipe, Beckwith to second (3-2 Maranatha). Neimeyer pops out to catcher.
Bottom of the Eighth
Estanislao ground out to 3B. Travis Navarro walk (fifth by Covey). Covey replaced by Popham. Infield single by Darwin, runners at first and second. Tanner fly out to LF. Marmolejo safe at first on E6, Navarro scores, first and second. Single to RF by Lucio scores Darwin and ends the game.
Running out of magic
Maranatha falls one out short of title in 4-3 loss
By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
RIVERSIDE – The journey was a long, twisting one for the Maranatha High School baseball team.
Come-from-behind victories on the road over Riverside Notre Dame and Bishop, coupled with a 13-inning victory over No. 2-seeded Lancaster Desert Christian, put the Minutemen in Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Division VI championship game against defending champion and No. 1-seeded San Jacinto at UC Riverside’s Sports Complex.
With Maranatha holding a one-run lead with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, the finish line appeared firmly in sight.
The Minutemen, though, came just short in what had been a season of miraculous finishes.
San Jacinto tied the game on an infield error and T.J. Lucio’s single to shallow right field sent upstart Maranatha to a 4-3 defeat in eight innings.
“It definitely hurts,” Maranatha coach Brian DeHaan said. “We knew we’d be in a dogfight, but we’re young and we’ll definitely be back. I don’t doubt that for a second.”
Something that will hurt DeHaan and his team, perhaps even more than the eighth-inning error, is the wasted pitching performances of sophomore starter Dylan Covey (8-2) and Cory Popham (4-4), who suffered the loss in relief.
Covey allowed two runs on four hits in 7
“It just wasn’t our day, that’s just the reality of it,” DeHaan said. “Cory came in and threw strikes and got ground balls and did what we asked of our pitchers.”
After getting a solid effort out of Covey, DeHaan went to Popham after a one-out walk to Travis Navarro in the eighth.
“Dylan was at 100 pitches and there’s just no way you can put a kid’s health over a victory, even of this magnitude,” DeHaan said. “You’ve gotta do what’s best for the kid, and that was best for Dylan.”
Andrew Darwin hit a high chopper to third for an infield single. After a flyout to left by Matt Tanner, Rene Marmolejo hit a ground ball to short that Erik Johnson couldn’t field cleanly. He managed a throw to first, but Marmolejo was safe on the error. Navarro kept going around third and beat the throw to the plate to tie the score at 3-3.
Maranatha finished with two errors.
Lucio, who committed three of San Jacinto’s five errors, gave the Tigers their second consecutive championship with a single to right.
“It was nice to go up there and get that hit after all those errors,” Lucio said. “It wasn’t looking so good, and we just went up there and got it done.”
Added San Jacinto coach Rick Zepeck: “He had three errors earlier in the game and felt really bad, and for him to come through with a base hit for the win like that is just amazing.”
Maranatha (18-11-1) looked on its way to capping an amazing season when it scored a run in the top of the eighth on a walk to Covey, a single by Beckwith and a balk by Tigers reliever Reuben Felipe (4-3).
“I guess it wasn’t our year,” Covey said. “It’s a learning experience, and next year, we don’t want to end the season with a loss.”
San Jacinto (22-8), the defending champion, struck first with a run in the first inning with two outs.
Darwin walked, stole second and third and scored on an infield single to deep short by Tanner. Myles Neimeyer made a nice back-handed stop, but his throw was off-line and not in time.
The Tigers pushed across another run in the third. Sal Estanislao doubled to left-center, went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Minutemen first baseman Danny Beckwith couldn’t come up with a high chopper off the bat of Navarro to make it 2-0.
Maranatha bounced back with a run in the fourth. Covey singled and went to second on an error. On a double steal, Covey crossed the plate with the Minutemen’s first run after Tanner’s throw sailed into left field.
The Minutemen tied the score 2-2 in the sixth on a towering double to left-center by Anthony Li.
“We’ve been in that position, basically the whole postseason, so it definitely wasn’t anything new for us,” Covey said of Maranatha’s comeback. “We didn’t give up.”