Above: Damien ‘s Jack Spohn watches his two-run double during the second inning of Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Charter Oak. (Keith Birmingham / Staff Photographer)
By John Sherrard, Correspondent
Damien High School, behind a strong pitching performance by sophomore Grant Hockin, shut out Charter Oak, 4-0, on Tuesday in a Sierra League game.
Hockin, making his second league start, pitched into the seventh inning and allowed only four hits to win his third game.
“I’m glad we’re getting them (Charter Oak) now because they’re a good hitting team,” Damien coach Al Leyva said.
Leyva was referring to the host Chargers’ recent skid in league with their third loss in a row. Charter Oak, the Tribune’s No. 4-ranked team, started out Sierra League action with back-to-back wins over South Hills but now has fallen below .500 in league at 2-3 (6-4 overall).
TUESDAY’S BASEBALL RESULTS
Glendora 7, Rancho Cucamonga 3
Glendora used three errors and six hit batters to gain the victory. The Tartans (3-1 in league) used four pitchers in limiting the Cougars to four hits.
Bonita 4, West Covina 1
Bonita’s Sam Stavang pitched six strong innings to improve to 3-0. Bonita is 10-1 overall and 2-0 in league.
Damien, ranked No. 3, is 6-3 overall and 3-1 in league.
The Spartans, coming off of a 21-run performance against Chino Hills last Friday, scored two runs in the second inning to take the lead.
Second baseman David Banuelos led off with a single, was sacrificed to second and scored on a single by first baseman Jack Spohn. Right fielder Eric Quezada (2 for 3), who singled, also scored on the play on a Chargers misplay at third.
Damien added another run the next inning on a double to deep center by designated hitter Michael Montalvo. It scored Banuelos, who had walked.
Charter Oak starting pitcher Mac Lupton (2-2) settled down and retired nine out of the next 12 Damien batters before being relieved in the seventh when the Spartans scored on a single by shortstop Chad Lee.
The Chargers stranded three runners in scoring position in the first three innings and nine for the game.
Junior Jon Reid and sophomore outfielder Kory Brown both were left at third in the first and third innings.
Meanwhile, Hockin allowed only four hits and struck out seven Chargers through six innings.
“I pitched well enough and wanted to finish the game, but Cody (Ponce) did a good job in relief,” Hockin said. “I felt like my slider was my best pitch.
“This win gives us a lot of momentum.”
Charter Oak started a rally in the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back singles by Joe Gil and Nohlan Hernandez, followed by a walk to his twin brother Nick. Ponce, who came in to relieve after the leadoff single, struck out the next two batters and induced a game-ending ground ball to second.
“It’s very frustrating right now, because I know how good a hitting team we are. But once we get going, look out,” Charter Oak coach Tom Quinley said.