Gladstone Baseball Tournament Championship: Duarte vs. Charter Oak, at Gladstone, 2 p.m.
By Steve Ramirez Staff Writer
A victory in a spring break tournament usually doesn’t rank high on the priority list of most area baseball coaches.
Tuesday was the exception for Duarte High School.
Grant Goldsmith went 2 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs and Pablo Lopez was steady on the mound to lead the Falcons to a 9-4 victory over Covina in a Gladstone Tournament semifinal.
Duarte (6-7), also getting two hits each from Julian Ortega, will face Charter Oak in today’s title game at 2 p.m.
Anthony Moreno had a two-run home run for Covina (8-6).
“It’s a big win for us,” Duarte coach Brian Grimm said. “Any time you can beat a team from a higher division it’s big. (Some might) feel our league is a little lower, but we came out and played a complete game.
“If you can out-hit them, out-pitch, out-play them, you’re going to win most games.”
The Falcons also showed a little character after Moreno tied it at 2 with a two-run home run in the fourth. Duarte responded to go up 3-2 on an RBI by Drew Valdez before scoring six runs in the sixth for a 9-2 lead.
Jonathan Sandoval made it 4-2 with an RBI triple. Ortega followed with a run-scoring single to push it to 5-2. Lopez had a sacrifice fly to make it 6-2 before Goldsmith hit a three-run home run for the 9-2 advantage.
“All the credit goes to them,” Covina coach Terry DeWan said. “That was a big (hit) by Anthony Moreno to get us back in the game.
“But we made a few mistakes that we need to clear up.”
The Colts were unable to challenge Lopez, who gave up four hits and four runs to improve to 4-0. He also had five strikeouts.
Covina, after Moreno tied it with a home run, had a chance to take the lead in the fourth when Jason Phillips reached first on an error and was sacrificed to second.
But Lopez struck out Joe Wills to end the threat. He gave up a run in the sixth and seventh before getting Moreno on a fly out with the bases loaded to end the game.
“He’s been our Tuesday guy and we lean on him,” Grimm said. “The kids made plays for him.
“He does a lot for us. He’s our leadoff guy, pitches and is one of our leaders.”
Duarte took advantage of two Covina errors to take a 2-0 lead in the first. Goldsmith followed the first miscue with an RBI single to center for a 1-0 lead. Sergio Garcia made it 2-0 with an RBI groundout.
Charter Oak 12, South Pasadena 1
Ian Evans went 2 for 5 and had three RBIs and Nick Hernandez hit two doubles with two RBIs as the Chargers cruised to the Gladstone Tournament championship game with a victory in the semifinals.
Kyle Dohy gave up two hits and struck out five in five innings for Charter Oak (5-5). Kory Brown and Jaren Surdo also hit doubles for the Chargers.