By John Honell
A wild slugfest seemed to be the perfect way to end the regular season for the Glendora High School baseball team. The Tartans, with a .346 team batting average and ranked fourth by the Tribune, pounded out 16 hits in a 17-12 victory over Upland on Friday afternoon.
The bottom of the batting order came up big for the Tartans as the No. 8 hitter, sophomore shortstop Martin Gallegos, was 3 for 3 and knocked in three runs. Junior Donovan Holmes was also 3 for 3 and knocked in five runs from the No. 9 slot in the order.
“(Gallegos) and (Holmes) came up big,” Tartans coach Dan Henley said. “It was huge. Different places in the lineup have given us contributions and come through for us. Those two have been working as hard as anybody so I’m happy for them today.”
The Highlanders (14-10, 5-10) sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the fifth, scoring five times to come from behind and take a 9-7 lead.
Highlanders leadoff hitter Daniel Robertson hit a two-run homer in the inning. He had two home runs and five RBIs to lead the Highlanders.
“In my opinion, our leadoff guy is the the best player in the league,” Highlanders coach Mike Alonso said. “He’s a junior and is going to UCLA.”
The Tartans came right back, sending 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning. They scored 10 runs on 10 hits to put the game out of reach.
Holmes and Gallegos each got a pair of hits and knocked in three runs in the inning.
“I’ve been struggling at the plate,” Gallegos said. “So this was a big game. I was trying to take the ball the other way but one got inside and I went with it.”
The teams combined for 14 extra-base hits, including four home runs, as the Tartans (17-6-1, 12-3) finished in sole possession of the Baseline League title.
“I’ve been working hard in the cage,” Holmes said. “It’s starting to pay off for me. We wanted to finish strong so we did that today.”
The Tartans, ranked ninth in CIF-Southern Section Division 2, begin defense of their CIF-SS title at home next week.
“I’ve told the kids to enjoy what they’ve done,” Henley said. “The playoffs are a great time and, if you can make a run, it’s a whole lot of fun. We had the number one seed (from the Baseline League) sewn up but you want to make a playoff run, so this game was important.”