It was low-scoring as expected, and this time Tyler Rich out-dueled Belizario Gutierrez and Colton downed San Gorgonio 2-1 on Thursday at San G. to capture the outright San Andreas League baseball title.
Colton trailed 1-0 until the sixth inning when
the Yellowjackets had runners on second and third with one out. Ralph Martinez then fisted one, a humpback line drive behind second base. Shortstop Zack Pender jumped and tried to make the catch. The ball went off his glove and after it bounced away, both baserunners scored to give Colton a 2-1 lead.
Rich (7-4), who lost to Gutierrez 1-0 in the teams’ first matchup, had to pitch out of a second-and-third, nobody out jam in the the fourth and a runner-on-second, nobody out (and first and second one out) jam in the sixth inning to earn the win.
Coaches loathe walking opposing hitters and a statistic from Thursday proves there is good reason for that.
Both Rich and Gutierrez walked exactly one batter on Thursday. And both of those batters scored.
The victory gives Colton (17-10, 12-2) the outright league title over Rialto (14-9, 11-3) and San Gorgonio (17-9, 10-4). Had San Gorgonio won, there would’ve been a three-way tie for first. As a result of the tiebreaker, Rialto would’ve been first, San Gorgonio second and Colton third in terms of playoff entry. Colton also won the outright league title last year, and shared the crown with San G. in 2010.
Although San Gorgonio didn’t get a lot of help on its own field on Thursday, Cajon gave the Spartans some help in another game. Cajon downed Carter 7-5. Had Carter won, the Lions would’ve tied San G. for third place with identical 10-4 records. And Carter would have gotten the league’s No. 3 seed for the playoffs based on head-to-head run differential. As it is, both teams will most likely play wild-card games next week, but in theory, Carter should get the tougher game than San G.