By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
After watching South Hills High School pitcher Adrian De Horta work out of several jams and come up with his best magic with the game on the line in the seventh, all Claremont coach Geoff Ranney could do was tip his cap.
De Horta pitched a complete game shutout to lead South Hills to a 2-0 victory, bearing down after Wolfpack leadoff hitter Jeremy Giles belted a one-out double in the seventh to put runners on second and third with the Wolfpack’s big hitters to follow.
But De Horta got Josh Chua to strikeout, then got slugger Nick Costello to fly out to end the game.
“He threw an incredible game,” Ranney said. “We were in situations with opportunities to score several times and he just pulled up his belt up and got down to business.
“We asked our guys to compete today, to be there all seven innings and get those opportunities, but he (De Horta) got the best of us.” (To continue reading, click thread)
Ayala 9, Charter Oak 1
South Hills 2, Claremont 0
Valle Vista League
San Dimas 4, Nogales 3
Baldwin Park 6, Covina 3
Duarte 13, Workman 3
It was the complete opposite of Claremont’s 12-11 win over South Hills earlier in the week that left both teams tied for first in the Sierra League.
But with the Huskies’ (12-5, 5-2) victory on Thursday, they move into sole possession of the league lead and take the season series (2-1) over Claremont (8-6, 4-3).
“After a game like (Tuesday) when runs are being scored like its water, you kind of expected a game like today where it’s real tight and everyone is trying to minimize mistakes and capitalize on opportunities.”
South Hills coach Kevin Smith was not happy with Tuesday’s loss and let his team know it during Wednesday’s practice.
“It was a gut check for our kids and I want to commend them because I was as hard on them as I’ve ever been on any team I’ve had in my 15 years,” Smith said. “I felt like we came back from spring break and were still on spring break. It was not a fun practice at all because I wanted to find out what we’re made of.”
De Horta, who scattered four hits and improved to 6-1, helped himself with a bases-loaded walk in the third that scored Niko Contreras, who led the Huskies with three hits.
Clayton Pearson doubled the Huskies’ lead in the fourth with a two-out single that scored Daniel Ramos.
Claremont pitcher Andrew Bernstein lasted 5 2/3 innings to give his team a chance, but De Horta, who worked out of trouble in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh after allowing the Wolfpack to get runners in scoring position, never let them capitalize.
“I just had to get this win for our team,” De Horta said. “The defense played well behind me. I got behind in some counts, but we got big outs when we needed them.”
Smith was impressed with how his team responded in tight situations, then blew a sigh of relief.
“Nothing’s ever easy in this league,” Smith said. “Everyone beats everyone in this league, it’s so well balanced and well coached. But we’ll take it, we were fortunate to get out of here with a win. That’s a darn good team.”