By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
With a masterful pitching duel on full display, perhaps it was fitting that La Salle and Bishop Amat needed extra innings to decide who would be in the driver’s seat in the Del Rey League. Brandon Castaeda hit a hard line drive over the shortstop and into the center gap that scored Adam Alcantara to give Bishop Amat a gritty 3-2 win in nine innings in front of a standing-room only crowd Tuesday afternoon.
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Alcantara connected on the 2-1 pitch in the ninth for a triple that
went deep to center. Castaeda saw two balls and then two strikes
before zeroing in on Garry Goebel’s final pitch that hung just over
the plate, giving Bishop Amat (13-2, 7-0) the upper hand.
“I think both teams had their chances,” Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto
said. “A big hit could have broken it up for either side. We left the
bases loaded, they left the bases loaded. And maybe today you just
tip your hat to the pitchers.”
La Salle’s first win over Bishop Amat in program history eluded them
once again, but if nothing else La Salle showed how much closer they
are to closing the gap.
“We’ve never battled and never been this close before,” La Salle
coach Harry Agajanian said. “It’s always been a four or five-run
differential. To stay tight with them and go nine innings (was big).
At that point it could have been anybody’s game. I’ve never been more
proud of my players than I am today.”
It was double the pleasure for Bishop Amat, which was officially
awarded an 8-4 win over La Salle in six innings from the March 23
postponed game because of rain. Plans to complete the game Friday in
the home-and-home series finale at La Salle were scrapped Tuesday
morning when the umpire assigner called it official. La Salle trailed
9-4 with one out in the seventh inning when the game was called for
the second time.
Bishop Amat’s pitching staff was brilliant, particularly side-arm
pitcher David Berg and Rio Ruiz, who made a rare appearance. Berg and
Ruiz combined to strike out 10 batters. Berg at one point struck out
seven consecutive batters. It came to an end in the eighth when La
Salle grounded out. Ruiz for only the second time in his Bishop Amat
career headed to the mound. His prowess, if only briefly on the
mound, was well on display as he struck out the side in the ninth to
pick up his first career win at Bishop Amat.
Bowdien Derby went seven innings and struck out five and gave up one
earned run. Bishop Amat and La Salle combined to leave 17 runners
stranded, nine for Bishop Amat. Both teams each left the bases loaded
Ruiz ledoff in the fourth with a single and advanced to third on a
two-base error. He scored to make it 1-0 on a Bernardo Zavala ground
out. Bishop Amat made it 2-0 when Dominique Davis scored on
Alcantara’s RBI single. Davis scored on the second effort after the
tag at home came late.
Noeh Martinez led off the sixth and reached first on an error. Steven
Petrovich sacrificed him over with a bunt and Martinez scored on a
Derby single to make it 2-1. Two batters later, Pedote’s RBI single
scored Derby to tie the game. Berg, however, struck out the final two
batters to end the La Salle’s threat with the bases loaded.
“I thought (Derby) was fantastic,” Agajanian said. “When they brought
in Berg the side-winder he threw us off a bit. He was tough to hit. I
think he struck us out quite a few times. When you have a pitcher’s
duel like that, one run is going to win the ball game, one way or
There were some bizarre plays, from the home plate umpire forgetting
the count twice and then when La Salle’s Michael Pedote ruled out at
second, negating his triple to deep center after the umpire ruled he
did not touch second base.
“We had our chances as they did,” Agajanian said. “Our pitcher, Gary,
hung one right there for the RBI run and that gave up the game right
there. That was a hard hit ball.”
Del Rey League
Bishop Amat 3
La Salle 2, 9 inn.
La Salle 000 002 000 — 2 6 2
Bishop Amat 000 110 001 — 3 12 2
Bowdien Derby, Garry Goebel (8) and Henry Smither; Jordan McCraney,
Ryan Serrato (4), David Berg (7), Rio Ruiz (9) and Bernardo Zavala.
3B: Adam Alcantara (BA). SO: Berg (BA) 7. W: Ruiz (1-0). L: Goebel
Records: La Salle 10-5, 5-2; Bishop Amat 13-2, 7-0.