Baseball: Charter Oak beats South Hills 2-1 in 8 …

By Aram Tolegian
Staff Writer

Just when it appeared the South Hills High School baseball team was ready to run away with the local spotlight, Joe Gil and Charter Oak slapped the Huskies back to reality.

Gil delivered a two-out hit to the right-center field gap off of Huskies reliever Ty France that scored pinch-runner Alejandro Sanchez from second for a 2-1 Charter Oak win in eight innings on Wednesday afternoon in the Sierra League opener for both teams.

“He started me off with a curve ball and I knew he was going to come back with a fastball and I had to sit and wait for it because he was really bringing the heat,” Gil said. “He (France) got me the first at-bat and I wasn’t going to let it happen again.

“I knew it was in the gap. I was just waiting for him (Sanchez) to get home so we could start celebrating. It was just a great victory. We’re the two best teams in this league, I think. It was just a fight to the end.”

The win improved Charter Oak, this newspaper’s No. 2-ranked team, to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the Sierra League. South Hills, the area’s No. 1-ranked team after shutting out Bonita last Saturday, fell to 5-1 and 0-1 in league.

The Chargers almost didn’t need Gil’s heroics. Starter Mac Lupton shut out South Hills through six innings, but Chargers head coach Tom Quinley let Lupton start the seventh inning with a 1-0 lead in the game and Michael Duglosl made him pay by leading off with a solo home run to left.

Quinley then turned to Zo Carrillo who pitched the rest of the way to earn the win. Afterward, Quinley felt as though his team took him off the hook for letting Lupton start the seventh.

“I knew Mac didn’t have much left in his tank and I should have put Zo out there to start the seventh, but we took a chance,” Quinley said. “Anytime we came from behind, they usually bail out a coach for making a bad decision.”

South Hills was uncharacteristically sloppy. France, one of the most sure-handed fielders in the area committed two errors at shortstop. The Huskies also couldn’t hit in the clutch, letting an obviously tired Lupton off the hook in the sixth inning after loading the bases with two outs. So after starting league play with so much momentum from winning the Dick’s Sporting Goods Tournament last week, the Huskies now face pressure going into Friday’s rematch at home with Charter Oak.

“We can play a lot better,” South Hills coach Kevin Smith said. “We’re just going to go back to work, re-focus and do the things that made us successful the first five games of the season. And that’s play defense, hit, have a plan, and just come to practice and games with a little better mental outlook.

Charter Oak took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Jon Reid’s single that scored Travis Santiago. South Hills starter Kevin McKelvey gave up little else the rest of the way, but couldn’t get any support from his bats.

“It’s a big win, I was there on Saturday,” Quinley said in reference to South Hills’ win over Bonita. “That’s a good ball club. It’s a feather in our cap. They’ve got a few guys who can make or break a game, but somehow we kept them in check today. Hopefully, the same thing can happen on Friday.”

The worry for Smith, however, is being able to convince his players to put the Bonita win behind them and start thinking about even bigger things.

“I talked about it right after the (Bonita) game,” Smith said. “I talked about it Monday after practice. I talked about it Tuesday morning in the weight room. We’re 0-0 now and we have to go out and earn a spot to go to the big dance.

“The kids who have been with me for a while understand that. But it is a huge concern of mine.”

South Hills faces arguably the toughest starting task of anybody in the league. The Huskies have a home-and-home matchup against Charter Oak this week, then start next week with a game against Damien.

“Boom, boom, we’re going to find out real quick what we’re made of,” Smith said of his team’s early league schedule. “You wish you could have them at the back end and kind of get into league a little bit. But it is what it is, and you have to play them.”

Elsewhere in the Sierra League this week, Ayala will play rival Chino Hills on Friday. The Huskies may not scare anyone at 4-3, but they’ve scored a league-best 47 runs so far. They’ve also allowed a league-high 20 runs.

South Hills may have only scored 22 runs to this point, but the Huskies have relied on excellent pitching to allow a paltry six runs in five games.

Rivals Damien and Claremont will square off on Friday. By Saturday morning, fans should know a lot more about how things will shake out over the coming week.

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  • shfan

    Stats should be mandatory? Are you kidding me? Stats are stupid anyways. “That wasn’t an error on my kid. Your kid should have caught it”. Haha. Plus it’s hard to compare stats. Leagues aren’t balanced and when leagues aren’t balanced it’s impossible to gauge how a player is doing. How are you going to compare a softball player in the Montview League that hits .535 to a player in the Sierra league that hits .495. There is NO WAY that stats will ever be required to be posted. It’s up to the coaches and that’s how it should stay.

  • Fred Robledo

    It’s not about comparing, it’s about sharing how kids are doing with the community. Imagine if Bonita posted zero stats on Garza? It’s great to be able to share how he’s done over a three, four or five game stretch, to be able to look back and write how he’s done game-by-game. I would love to know how Travis Santiago is doing in baseball, would love to know how C.J. Saylor and Ty France, two of the best baseball players in the area, are doing by a game-by-game basis so I can share it with all of you. Does France have a hitting streak going? What’s he batting, how many RBIs does he have, same with Saylor, it’s important stuff the community wants to know about their bigtime high school athletes. If you google Saylor and France, you don’t see a lot written of their high school accomplishments on ESPN, L.A. Times or even us because you can’t track what they do from game to game.

  • BillyBob

    It’s a real shame CO’s Santiago is still having obviously having arm problems. I saw the kid throw as a soph and he could really bring it. I haven’t seen him listed in the boxscores as a pitcher this season. What is his status?

  • shhsfan

    no need for stats. SH gets it done on the mound. “all american” saylors been cold at the plate all season. the bats were dead today with the exception of michael dlugos….

  • Baseball Coach

    Fred I understand where you are coming from but it is time that you and people understand our side and where we are coming from. Since the invention of Maxpreps coaches have faced numerous problems. A)Parents and players constantly nit picking. Why wasn’t this a hit? Why was this an error? B)Scouting and I don’t mean who are there guys, everyone knows that. What you don’t want people to know is my number 8 hitter has hit .545 in the least 5 games. Now this at a coaches fingertips. C) There are a lot of useless stats out there including Batting Average. Skip Claprood was famous for saying Batting Average only exists for parents and players to feel good about themselves. Is Ty a great player because there is an article in the L.A. Times and ESPN? NO, Ty is a great player and is going to the next level because he is talented and puts in work and for those that think Maxpreps is important, guess what? Right now Ty is upset because he blew a save and his team lost not because his stats aren’t online. Years ago we called the paper weekly and you guys covered a lot of games. Now we get chastised by parents and the media if stats are not one click away. Our job is to build players in productive members of society who will go on to be good sons, husbands, and fathers. After that hopefully we win some games. We will know by the responses who thinks individuals are stars and who thinks the W and

  • COChargerfan

    Claprood didn’t like stats because as a player he was a terrible hitter and as a coach he played his “automatics” small ball game. There’s a [the?] reason he never really won anything even though he had lots of very good teams.

    Just sayin.

  • six pack before

    Baseball coach;;; sounds like youre a greedy person trying to pad your win and loss record and hurting the kids at the same time. If a kid is hitting .545 let everyone know in the country even the scouts and recruiters back east. quit being (GREEDY), if he is good he will become a great hitter..try to build kids up not hide them, make them leaders

  • Baseball Coach

    COCharger fan….you are absolutely right Skip never won a thing. Oh wait unless you count more wins in the history of JC baseball.

    Six Pack….I am not sure how what I said would help pad my wins but ok and call me greedy when you don’t know me. That would be like me call you an alcoholic because of your name. In regards to the scouts back east comment I will give you this. There was a time when I used to use Max Preps religiously and then I stopped due to the things I mentioned. Here is the interesting thing about what you are claiming. I have had more kids get more offers and talked to more coaches about my players that when I did MaxPreps. People think the end all be all is Maxpreps for scouting. I have never had one coach say, “Hey I saw on Maxpreps your kid is hitting .455.” On top of that with my roster that I carry every game I also keep stats with me to give to scouts or college recruiters. The other thing is last time I check inputting stats on MaxPreps will not make a better hitter or a leader.

  • i agree

    who’s stats are correct Daddy’s or coaches or even stat girls–you can have 10 different people keeping a book at a game and come up with 10 different opinions on errors hits, etc.

  • Fresh blood

    CO Fan

    Makes sense now! Claprood always blames someone else except himself. He really doesn’t understood the box and his hitting techs are horrible to the present day…

    Our numbers are proof of his beliefs.. LOL

  • WHo Cares

    Who cares about stats. Chargers won lets all move on. On to friday for their next win :)Bring your starting shortstop next time puppies.

  • Fred Robledo

    Coach, I respect what you’re saying, but the social world isn’t going anywhere, we all have to adapt to it and posting on Maxpreps is what coaches do today instead of calling the newspapers like they did 15 years ago. As far as dealing with parents, you have to deal with it, we all have to deal with it and more than Maxpreps, it’s the specialization of sports and club teams that makes dealing with parents more difficult because parents invest a lot of money and are more involved than ever in that all out pursuit of a scholarship. I deal with parents/coaches as much as anyone, especially when it comes to selecting all area teams, it’s part of the process. It would be easy to stop doing all-area teams because there is too much whining and parent/coaches complaints, but we do it and deal with it for the kids.

  • six pack before

    Baseball coach,,,( practice makes a kid better but facing the best makes him great) if you know hes batting over .500 late in the game hes going to see your best. And you hiding his stats is making him better? Thanks for your help to build players into productive members of society.. THANKS AGAIN COACH

  • Baseball Coach

    6 pack…Can you explain to me when I said not posting stats made my players better members of society?

    Fred…Your response is why I have always liked you opinion. It is well thought out and well written. I completely understand your point of view.

  • Get real

    @ Coach
    Batting ave. is a useless stat? are you kidding me? Batting ave. is probably the most important stat there is. I have yet to see an MLB player win a batting title without having the highest batting ave. in the league. I have yet to see an MLB player win an MVP without having big numbers in ave. hr’s, and rbi’s. Stats, especially batting ave., is the only tangible thing that you can point to in baseball as proof of superior ability, everything else is subjective opinion. Only a bad coach would keep a kid in the number 8 spot in the lineup when he is hitting 545. A good coach proves to his team that you will be rewarded and moved up in the order when you produce. You on the other hand sound like one of those coaches that tells his players through his actions that, “you are only as good as I thought you were on day #1, regardless of how you produce the rest of the year.” Your so afraid of your parents that you won’t post stats? Why don’t you man-up and tell you parents at the start of the year, “don’t come to me and talk about stats, because if you do, the conversation will end right then and there”.
    By the way, how could your pitcher have blown a save, when according to the article you were never in the lead? Wouldn’t it be a situation where he blew an opportunity to get the win?

  • six pack before

    Baseball coach,, read your first post its all your reasons,, Thanks Again Coach

  • Fresh Start

    BB Coach

    More wins came from the players and Claprood’s time at Citrus. Not his ability to coach. Heck we should be well above .350 if that’s the case.

    Might want to ask the bigger question?? No significant time out of a JC program? Why?

    Should have heard him in our parent meeting.. What a ridiculous representation of a coach.

    People want him done and gone. Time for a colon cleanse Al

  • COChargerfan

    If Claprood is your hitting coach, then I get why SH looked pretty bad against CO. And I’m not talking about hits because that varies from game to game. Instead, I’m looking at technique and approach and, while it was just one game, I wasn’t very impressed especially with the 3 and 4 hitters…neither one of them actually took one good swing in their 3 AB’s. So is old Skippy still teaching his knob down baloney? If so, good luck.

    And Yeah, Skip got a lot of league wins over 30 years but how many JC titles did he win? Zero?
    I played there many years ago and know lots of others that also did and everyone pretty much thinks (knows) that he didn’t have a clue how to hit. The guy should be given a lot of credit for being top notch in organization but as far as understanding and teaching hitting, he was poor to middlin.

  • be careful CO CHarger fan

    don’t judge 3&4 on one game as everyone except you obviously knows what they can do

  • sgv baby

    WOW!!! It happend again. CO wins. I thought SH would come out for revenge. In a competitive league CO will be a tough team to beat. I’ve had the opportunity to see SH play three times now. Against Bonita and both CO’s games. SH is struggling now. As far as the 3 and 4 guys. Yes they are good and both are in a major slump. Combined 3 and 4 in the last 2 game are 2 for 16. As soon as the TEAM jells like they did in the Dick’s tournament SH will be fine. Remember 3 and 4 are not the entire team. Good luck to both CO and SH

  • according to who

    2-16 thats according to your book which is the who’s stats are correct argument … their stats are not at their potential but my book says #3 is 1 for 6 and #4 is 1 for 5 –you must count walks and sac fly RBI’s as at bat’s ??? together their plate appearances were only at 14 so they can’t be anything & 16

  • sgv baby

    OOOps Sorry, My bad. Combined SH’s 3 and 4, are 2 for 11.
    If numbers were on max preps people wouldn’t have to guess… Like me.
    SH will bounce back. TEAM

  • ok then

    exactly…how about the numbers that get recorded on MaxPreps be from Daddy’s book like most of the teams that are posted, in that case they are 9 for 11

  • Smoke screen

    Seems like these two players are living up to the scouting questions? Can they really hit at the next level. Arms are good, bodies and hitting abilities are big concerns.

    They haven’t impressed and I guess this is another reason why Smith doesn’t post stats like most coaches do.

    Yeah they’ll be above .500 at seasons end when the awards come out right Smitty? Next year its ALL PUBLIC. WONDER WHY?

    Get your crap together Smith, the team isn’t hitting or scorcing runs against quality pitching. Bonita, CO both exposed some real questions and issues.

  • elaborate

    bodies and hitting abilities are big concerns??
    ok hitting is slumping but what about their bodies?

    smith never posted stats impressive or not

  • sgv baby

    C’mon MOMMY 9 for 11 wow!!!
    Don’t remember both with any hits against BoHi Garza, CO, Mac or Soph. ZO
    What I’m trying to get through to you IS!!!
    IT’S A TEAM EFFORT. 3 and 4 are not thee entire team.
    Smoke Screen, I agree with you it’s called Reality.

  • COChargerfan

    The cold hard reality is that the offense of a “team” is only as great as their top hitters, especially the 3&4 hitters because those spots are reserved for the best that you’ve got…production is a requirement. No team puts their best hitters in the 7,8&9 slots, do they? Nor do they expect the bottom of the line up to lead the team in hitting, home runs and/or RBI’s, isn’t that correct? Fact of the matter is that for the average high school team the top of the order accounts for most of the run production. Everyone isn’t equal in life nor are they in baseball, which is why superstars like Pujols make so much more money than some catcher hitting 9th. I believe in that “to whom much is given much is expected [Luke 12:48]” applies to sports so if you want to be the man then you better produce.

    And personally, I don’t think talent is the question, instead, these kids need to improve their approach and hit with more discipline because no one throws good hitters belt high fastballs. So, they need to stop trying to hit every knee high breaking pitch over the left field fenceunless they are content with a .250 BA. The season is young and SH will figure it out.

    Great start CO.