By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
PASADENA – They called it the battle of Sierra Madre Boulevard, and what a battle it was.
Bowdien “Bubba” Derby did his best to keep the La Salle High School baseball team in it in the first game of a nonleague doubleheader against Pasadena. The Lancers lost in eight innings, 5-3, but he came back to pitch a complete game while adding a solo home run to lead La Salle in the second game, 5-1, on Tuesday afternoon.
Derby, a junior standout, was virtually unhittable in the second game. He struck out nine and allowed just two hits and one run. At one point Derby retired nine straight.
“I was pumped today,” Derby said. “I wanted to beat them. They’re our rivals, literally a mile down the street. I wanted to claim Pasadena today.”
Derby tied the first game 3-3 on a home run to right field before Robert Lain and William Yost scored in the eighth to lift Pasadena.
“When he’s spotting his pitches, he’s one of the best,” La Salle coach Harry Agajanian said. “We felt if we could stay inside, they would have a hard time.”
“Bubba Derby is a darn good player all around,” Pasadena coach Mike Parisi said, “with the bat and on the mound. He’s definitely one of the best players in the area. He overmatched us today in the second game.”
Pasadena (3-2) squandered golden opportunities in the fifth inning of Game 2, leaving two on base. Jay Cordero drew a leadoff walk and stole second base before Chris Rucker came in to pinch run.
He advanced to third on a passed ball before Brandon Carrillo drew a walk. Derby got ahead on the next two hitters, though, and recorded the final two outs on strikeouts.
Pasadena’s lone run came on a solo shot to center by Chris Klein, who jumped on a 1-1 pitch to lead off the sixth. He came on in relief in the sixth and struck out the first two batters.
La Salle’s Michael Pedote scored in the first after a leadoff double before Derby’s blast to center made it 2-0. Noeh Martinez’s single to left scored John Auer in the fourth to make it 3-1, and Pedote and Nick Crow scored in the fifth on a Pasadena error.