By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
With the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 baseball playoffs starting next week, No. 7 San Dimas is on roll. The visiting Saints never let Covina feel like it was in a game for the Valle Vista League title, scoring five runs in the first and two in the second before leaving with a 14-5 victory to clinch the league title on Tuesday. The Saints’ top three batters in the lineup, Matt Munoz, Shawn Kennedy and Jacob Ehret combined to score eight runs with five extra base hits. (To continue click thread).
Munoz scored four runs and belted a towering three-run homer in the seventh.
Kennedy had two doubles, a triple, three RBIs and Ehret had a double, drove in three runs and hit a two-run home run.
In all, 10 of the Saints’ 14 hits went for extra-base hits as they improved 18-8-1 and 10-1, which includes a sweep over Covina, who dropped to 16-10 and 9-3.
“The guys were focused and came out swinging,” said Saints coach Mike Regan. “We had really good at bats. Kennedy set the tone crushing the ball, Munoz left the yard and Jacob had good at bats. The top of our order crushed.”
It was the Saints’ eighth straight win and during that streak, they scored 10 or more runs in six of them.
“Our middle guys were hurt for a few games during the middle of the season and we weren’t swinging the bat well,” Regan said. “We changed a few things offensively where we cut down our strokes and now we’re hitting the ball really well.”
In short, Munoz said it was about time.
“We had good at bats,” Munoz said. “We have been waiting for that all year. We came out smoking.”
San Dimas’ Matt Lee started and gave up two runs through six innings before tiring in the seventh.
Lee gave up his third run on four consecutive hits before turning it over to Ehret, who got two big strikeouts with the baseball loaded. Eventually, Ehret got out of it, though the Colts batted around the order and scored three runs.
Andrew Carillo had three hits and scored for the Colts, but they fell behind 7-0 and trailed 13-1 entering the bottom of the seventh.
“I’m a little disappointed in the way we played defense and the way we pitched,” Colts coach Pete Loaiza said. “In a championship atmosphere I wish we were more solid on the defensive end. It’s hard to play offense when you’re down five runs in the first.”
The Colts rallied before falling 10-9 to San Dimas in their first meeting, but the hole they dug Tuesday was too big.
“You can’t come back down 13 runs against a team like this,” Loaiza said. “You have to keep it close, pitch and play defense and hope when they opportunity comes it’s a manageable game. This was out of control.”