By John Honell
Sierra Vista High School went extra innings before senior Edward Huezo’s two-out, two-run single in the top of the eighth inning put the Dons on top of the Montview League standings with an 11-9 victory over La Puente on Thursday. The Dons (18-4, 10-2) survived another late Warriors rally to take a one-game lead over La Puente with two games to play.
“That was two great teams out there,” Dons coach Brett Stevens said.
“We expected a battle all the way to the end and that’s what it was.
They came within five feet of winning it in seven.”
Junior Gio Rivera led off the eighth with a single, his third hit of
the day, and stole second. Elias Novelo was given an intentional walk
after the steal. The runners advanced to second and third after an
errant pick-off throw. Christian Novelo was walked intentionally to
load the bases. Reliever Raymond Sedillo struck out the next two
batters to set the stage for Huezo.
“It was an outside fastball,” Huezo said. “I just went opposite
(field) with it. I was just thinking I had to man up with the title
on the line and help my team anyway I could.”
The Warriors, (14-7, 9-3), who came from behind on Tuesday to beat
the Dons and tie them for first place, scored three unearned runs in
the bottom of the seventh to tie the score, capped by a two-run
single by Luis Jacobo.
A perfect throw by Dons right fielder Nicholas Herejon got Jacob
Aquino at the plate for the third out and sent the game into extra
“That kid had to make a perfect throw,” Warriors coach John
Hermosillo said. “We got a lot of hits at the end and guys came up
big with two outs. We did come up on the short end of the stick today
but, ultimately, we didn’t lose this game. Our guys fought like we’ve
been doing all year.”
The Dons’ Elias Novelo, who dropped his first decision of the season
on Tuesday, pitched the bottom of the eighth to earn his third save.
“Elias has been all about heart this year,” Stevens said. “He threw
125 pitches on Tuesday and he begged to get the save.”
Rivera, who was the leading rusher in the Valley last fall with more
than 2,200 yards, led the Dons with three hits, three stolen bases,
scored four runs and picked up the win in relief to lead the Dons.
The junior has been battling an ankle injury suffered in the final
game of the football season. The injury has left him in doubt for the
upcoming football season.
“My future is most likely in baseball,” Rivera said. “As for playing
football, we’ll just have to wait and see. My coach (Keith Locklear)
has been very supportive and has my back all the way. My ankle is a
lot better but I have to work on it every day.”