By Fred J. Robledo Staff Writer
Diamond Bar pitcher Kenny Mathews didn’t deserve what happened to him against visiting Glendora on Friday, but then again, Tartans pitcher Adam Plutko made it possible by going toe-to-toe with the junior left-hander in a highly anticipated matchup between two of the Valley’s best hurlers. The Tartans scored three runs on two errors in the seventh inning to beat the Brahmas 3-0, with the UCLA-bound Plutko throwing a complete game two-hit shutout to keep the Tartans (15-1-1, 6-1) in sole possession of first in the Sierra League after back-to-back wins over the Brahmas to take the season series, 2-1. (To continue click thread)
Glendora 3, Diamond Bar 0
Damien 7, Chino Hills 3
Del Rey League
Bishop Amat (15-2, 5-0) at La Salle (7-9, 2-3), 3:15 p.m.
Valle Vista League
Northview 30, Ganesha 0
San Dimas (10-5, 5-1) at Baldwin Park (5-11, 1-5), 3:15 p.m.
Covina (7-8, 4-2) at Pomona (0-10, 0-6), 3:15 p.m.
Bassett (5-6, 2-1) at La Puente (6-2, 4-0), 3:15 p.m.
Azusa 3, Gladstone 2
Sierra Vista 16, Workman 2
Mission Valley League
Arroyo 6, Gabrielino 1
Rosemead (1-9, 1-4) at Mountain View (4-11, 2-4), 3:15 p.m.
South El Monte 7, El Monte 2
The Brahmas (10-7, 4-3) started the week in a tie for first with the Tartans, having beating them earlier in the season when Mathews outdueled Plutko for a 1-0 victory.
Mathews, already committed to Cal State Fullerton, took a one-hitter into the seventh inning of a 0-0 game and got the first two outs, but he walked Kyle Layton, then Jacob Cage’s potential inning-ending grounder to second was bobbled, allowing Cage to reach first on the error.
After Mathews hit Brennan Salgado to load the bases, Josh Luevanos grounded a single to left to score Layton, giving the Brahmas a 1-0 lead.
Luevanos got the only two hits off Mathews, who also finished with ten strikeouts.
“I just tried to put the ball in play and it got through,” Luevanos said. “You live for games like this. He’s (Mathews) a great pitcher and we had to scratch a run in the seventh to pull it out.”
The inning still wasn’t over.
Joseph Woodward’s bases-loaded grounder to third turned into another error with a wild throw to first, allowing Cage and Salgado to score to stake the Tartans to 3-0 lead in a game that looked destined to go eight or nine innings just a few minutes earlier.
“It’s tough to bite something like this, especially when you have 0-0 in the seventh with Mathews on the mound,” Diamond Bar coach Eric Shibley said. “You have two outstanding quality pitchers giving their all and unfortunately on our side of it, defensively, that’s been kind of our M.O. all season.
“We give up to many bases, whether it’s errors, walks or whatever, and today it was errors. We’ve been plagued by it all year, there is no getting around it.”
Plutko (5-1) knew it was going to take this type of effort, retiring 12 of the final 13 he faced.
“I know Kenny pretty well, and we knew going in there was no way we were giving up more than a couple runs,” Plutko said. “You don’t do it alone, your defense has to play well behind you and you execute when you have opportunities.
“That was the difference. Kenny threw a great game, but we took advantage of the opportunities they gave us.”
Tartans coach Dan Henley won’t argue with that.
“However it comes we’ll take it, I’m not going to lie,” Henley said. “It was one of those games which you had these two guys who could have gone on forever. It certainly lived up to the billing.”