Baseball: Maybe the Sierra will come down to the final week: DAMIEN 2, GLENDORA 1

It’s never perfect, but there’s no arguing with the results of the Damien High School baseball team.
The host Spartans just continue to win, and they added to their success, using a home run from first baseman Joe Larez and a solid effort from pitcher Nick Amrhein to rally for a 2-1 victory over rival Glendora in a key Sierra League game on Wednesday
Damien, also getting an RBI single from Jorge Ortega, improved to 13-4 overall and moved into a first-place tie with the Tartans at 6-2 in league play. Glendora, getting a solid effort on the mound from Jacob Cage, slipped to 15-2-1.
The two teams will play for the league lead at Glendora on Friday.

“We prepare our guys to play,” Damien coach Al Leyva said. “If they (win), great, if they don’t, they don’t.
“But our guys will always battle. We may not win every game, but we’ll always battle.”
The Spartans had to after Glendora took a 1-0 lead in the second on a lead-off double by John Alexander and back-to-back fly balls by Kyle Layton and Jacob Cage.
But Amrhein, who scattered six hits through five innings to improve to 6-0, kept the Tartans in check from there.
The Spartans then got back into it in the fourth, tying it at 1-1 following consecutive singles by Adam Young, Erik Lewis and Ortega.
Larez then gave Damien a 2-1 lead with one out in the fifth with a partially wind-aided home run to left.
“I saw the left fielder (Jacob Smigelski) take a couple steps in, so I thought he was going to catch it,” Larez said. “I just kept running, then I saw him put his arm over the fence, and I knew it was gone.”
The Tartans looked to get right back in it in the sixth after Clinton Harwick led off with a single and Smigelski followed with a double to left.
But relievers Jack Hedges and Antonio Gonzales put out the fire. Hedges got Joseph Winterburn to ground out to third before Gonzales got Alexander to pop out and Layton to ground out.
“That, obviously, was huge,” Glendora coach Dan Henley said. “We were in a great position, and it happened in a hurry. But hats off to them.”

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  • Sparty Spartan

    Lets Go!

  • Spartan Fan

    great game by the spartans! nick amrhein & antonio gonzalez had some great pitching & not sure who yet but damiens second run came from a homerun out to left field. good game, interesting to see what happens friday! bring it tartans!

  • DamienScore

    Damien wins 2-1! What a game. Our boys came to play and did what everyone thought they couldn’t do, including you Fred. Sr. LHP Amrhein goes 5 great innings and then Jr. LHP Gonzales comes in and closes for the win. Sr. 1B Larez goes yard for the difference. Great job!

  • Spartan 4 Life

    One more guys. Go Damien!!!!

  • BullPen

    Wow, this is what makes the Sierra League the best in the SGV. Damien beat a great Glendora team this afternoon. Matter of fact only one other team this year has done what Damien did today. Damien started out slow this year, but I knew they would put it together. Friday will be huge, Damien will go against the best pitcher they have seen all year and arguably the best pitcher in the SGV. This is gonna be a great hs baseball game. TARTANS vs SPARTANS, may the best team win!

  • Lets go!

    When you lack basic fundamental baseball you kill rallies!

    How do you get picked off first from the catcher who has a cannon of a arm? We’ll ask the second baseman from G-town. Maybe you won’t act like a hotdog next game and pay move attention to detail. Anybody scout the kid named Jorge O over the last three years? Lights out of an arm. First base coach wet his bed too! Wake up!

    Great pitching dual was the highlight once again!

  • damien can hit adam plutko. they’ve faced a better pitcher in dylan covey a couple of weeks ago. he’s projected to be the number 9 overall pick in the upcoming draft. he averages 92-95, can get it up to 97, and has a ridiculous curveball. dont believe me? look him up on google in his interview with fsn. after seeing that guy these damien hitters can hit anything. get ready for a great game friday

  • It’s just a game

    Hey Fred,

    I don’t remember ever seeing a stat in any baseball box score that says “partially wind-aided” HR. Was that necessary? The ball generally carries better on hot days. Is there a stat for “hot day game” HR’s? Come on. Give the kid some credit.

    You make it sound like Damien got lucky. That was a great game. I don’t think it was too lucky for Damien that Glendora had runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs in the sixth. Was it lucky Damien pitchers Hedges and Gonzales got out of that jam without giving up any runs?

    I know…
    It’s just a game

  • infoman

    agree with that last take re. covey, but i do feel that glendora has the best team in the sierra and they will be at home with chance to prove that with a pretty darn good pitcher. damien was able to win today despite leyva getting 3 or 4 runners hosed out on the bases. running on glendoras leftfielder? the kid throws 90 from the mound and trying to steal against catcher who also throws 90? not smart. also congrats to amerheim from damien who has rebounded from a subpar junior year to give damien some quality innings. also has henley ever heard of the squeeze play?

  • Ms. Brown needs a Damien Baseball Sweatshirt !!!!

    Are any Damien players being recruited to play at the next level?

    This year’s team seems to be having more fun, is more relaxed and the parents are getting along better. That goes for all levels of Baseball at Damien. Does Leyva have any brothers who coach JV or Freshmen Basketball? Just wondering what position Leyva and his staff played in high school or college?

    Just a pleasure to take in a game at Casa de Carroll now that the stands are in and with the new scoreboard Damien might be taking Sports seriously again. The field is awesome, whoever is maintaining the field is all about business.

    One last thing. Spoke to Ms. Brown, Damien’s trainer, and I teased her about wearing a Damien Basketball sweatshirt and she said, “I’ll wear a Damien Baseball sweatshirt when they “give” me one!”….time for Leyva o hit the bookstore!!!

    Ms. Brown Im sure you’ll get your sweatshirt before too long now…lol

    BTW has the Football Stadium/Field been name? How about Alumni Field? lol.

  • Pitching Guru

    Been watching G-town carefully. They are in trouble when playoff time come without some changes. Can’t manufacture enough runs against quality pitching. Very talented but lack the ability to make things happen. Great D and pitching but offense is all or nothing. They can’t or don’t small ball at all. D2 rankings a joke. Crespi #4 no way. With or without Healy on the mound Crespi is hands and feet better than G-town right now.

  • Heard of Shoeless Joe Jackson, how about Loose Laced Larez ???

    Speaking of wind aided home run how about the fact the batter’s left lace was left untied. I heard it from his mom he hates to tie his shoes in the batter’s box so he hits a home run so he could run all the bases at once. I know I rolled my eyes too but I looked up his Little League and Travel Ball stats and talked to every single on of his coaches and they said he’s always been that way. One coach in particular kept stats and said to date he’s hit 27 home runs that way! Surprised a great writer like Fred missed that one.

    Who knew ?!?!

    Into the history books goes Loose Laced Larez!!!

  • GHS Dad

    Pitching Guru….Don’t worry about us in the playoffs…we will be just fine.
    We dominated district 20!!!

  • weirdness

    Ms brown and loosed laced Larez?? What is wrong with you Damien people? You win a game then these wacky posts appear? Get some poise for crying out loud! In one day the rubber game will be here and we’ll see if you guys can hang. Damien fans act like you’ve done something before. Cass de Carroll? Lol, dysfunctional!

  • It’s just a game

    Lighten up weirdness! Have some fun.

    There’s ALWAYS some yahoo who has to be negative here…

    It’s just a game

  • Tent Factory

    I heard a rumor that Gano is pissed off, he wants out. Part of his package was that he would get the IN N OUT truck at all home games, didn’t happen.

  • LOL


    LL daddy at his best! Still livin in the past and trying to compare LL to HS. We’ll lets just say LV dominated last year! LOL

  • The Habit

    Tent Factory

    He changed burger spots to the “Habit in La Verne” LOL

    Just look at him!

  • Pitching Guru

    too funny. Maybe we should get the CIF trophy ready for the 2013 bearcats cause according to GHS dad the LV kids will be poised for championships! district 20 champs(OMG). Get real GHS dad.

  • Loosen Up

    Isn’t anyone smart enough to figure out some of these comments are “tongue in cheek?”

    Glendora and Damien are usually sorted affairs and this time it was so cold the only chatter you heard was teeth.

    Damien has a history, like most well to do individuals, of feeling superior when they win and being smug when they lose. So why not make fun of the process instead of reading some parent bash the opponent from on mountain high?

  • Glendora Who?


    If you were so dominate in district 20, explain why it hasn’t transferred to a winning league record over the past FIVE YEARS at Glendora HS?

    Now that’s LMFAO! Is it that Henley or the daddy boys can’t produce? Stick to district 20, because GHS isn’t dominate in the Sierra league and next year the BL is way tougher… Go watch REV(ask damien) or Crepsi, your bats are in trouble, but then again you dominate right? LOL

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