By John Honell, Correspondent
Glendora High School followed the same pattern it has used all year to take a firm hold on first place in the Sierra League. The Tartans (16-2-1, 7-2) got solid pitching from their ace, Adam Plutko, and solid defense to beat Damien 5-2 on Friday. The win gave the Tartans a 2-1 edge in the season series between the teams and a one-game lead over the Spartans (13-5, 6-3) and Diamond Bar.
Plutko went six innings, struck out six and did not walk a batter as he improved his record to 6-1.
“Adam battled today,” Tartans coach Dan Henley said. “He didn’t have his `A’ stuff but he pitched like he’s done all year. We got a split with them this week and, after Wednesday (a 2-1 loss to Damien), that’s something we wanted to do. We’ll take this win.”
The Spartans jumped in front in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Bobby Oatman topped a pitch out in front of the plate and beat the throw to first.
Adam Young sacrificed and Erik Lewis singled but Oatman tripped over the bag and had to remain at third. J.J. Murillo singled with two outs for the run.
The Tartans scored two runs on one hit in the bottom of the second to take the lead.
Joe Winterburn was hit by a pitch leading off the inning. Kyle Layton walked and Jakob Cage sacrificed them to second and third, respectively.
Designated hitter Brennan Salgado then grounded back to side of the mound. Damien starter James Guillan reached for the ball but it went off the end of his glove and ricocheted into left field.
“A lot of weird things happened today,” Henley said. “We got a glove base hit for our first two runs. We thought we were headed for that breakout to be more offensive, then some weird things happened. They did a great job on the mound and defensively, giving themselves a chance.”
The Tartans scored three more runs in the third on an error, a walk and three hits.
“James (Guillan) was throwing well today,”
Damien coach Al Leyva said. “That ball goes off his glove. If he makes that play it’s a different ballgame. It’s an old cliche of mine that sometimes you need to be lucky and we didn’t get the lucky break today, but Glendora put the pressure on us and they deserve the win.”
The Spartans battled back with a run in the sixth, then Winterburn came on to pitch the seventh inning for the Tartans.
“Joe’s been our closer,” Henley said. “They made a few good passes at him but he bowed his neck and did a good job.”