By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN, twitter.com/sgvtribpreps
As far as South Hills High School baseball coach Kevin Smith is concerned, no lead is safe enough in the Sierra League.
Even after Adrian De Horta’s three-run homer to left in the second inning staked South Hills to a seven-run lead, Smith didn’t start breathing easier until the Huskies walked away with a 7-3 victory over visiting Chino Hills on Wednesday.
“Chino Hills swings the bat so well you can’t relax,” Smith said. “You never know in this game, not until you get that final out.” (To continue click thread).
It’s been a wild couple of weeks for South Hills, who lost back-to-back games to Charter Oak to open the Sierra — a league in which all six teams are competitive enough to fight for playoff spots.
But the Huskies battled back with three straight wins to improve to 8-2 and 3-2 while Chino Hills dropped to 6-5 and 2-2.
After beating South Hills twice, Charter Oak dropped three straight, including a 4-0 loss to Damien earlier in the week.
South Hills beat Damien 4-2 last week, which is proof of what Smith is talking about.
“Anybody can beat anybody,” Smith said. “(Damien coach Al) Leyva said in the paper yesterday that he was glad he got Charter Oak a little down after two straight losses.
“Charter Oak’s a good team. Damien’s a good team. The team we beat today is awfully good. You can’t feel too good or too bad about these games, you have to keep trying to win the next one.”
Whenever Huskies senior pitcher Kevin McKelvey takes the hill, it makes it that much easier.
McKelvey improved to 4-0 and only gave up one earned run before giving way to Ty France, who closed the seventh with three straight outs.
“He’s been nails and a super surprise for us,” Smith said of McKelvey. “He’s given up something like two or three earned runs the whole season in 34 or 35 innings. I just can’t say enough about him.”
Michael Dlugosi’s bases-loaded single drove in Danny Sheehan and Anthony Muniz later scored on a wild pitch to give South Hills to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
After C.J. Saylor’s single scored Sheehan in the second inning, Saylor later scored on a throwing error to go up 4-0.
That set up De Horta’s towering three-run homer to left to make it 7-0.
Chino Hill’s Joseph Keller belted a two-out double that scored Jagger Teixeira in the third inning and Coby Myers’ single drove in two runs in the sixth.