By Steve Ramirez
LA PUENTE – The mark of a good baseball team is to win when it’s not at its best.
Bishop Amat High School proved the adage Friday, getting an RBI single with with one out in the seventh to score a 3-2 victory over rival St. Paul in a Del Rey League game at Bishop Amat.
The Lancers, who overcame four errors and four walks from three pitchers to beat the Swordsmen for the second time this week, improved to 9-10 overall and 2-2 in league play.
St. Paul, which had tied it at 2 following a throwing error in the sixth, slipped to 15-9 and 2-2.
“Good teams find a way to access damage control,” Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto said. “That’s what it was. We got ourselves in difficult situations. But we have a motto of if you give up one, fight hard to not give up two; if you give up two, fight hard to not give up three and so on.
“In those innings, it was one hit away from opening it up. We gave up one each time. I’m proud of these guys, because that takes tough guys in that situation to put the frustration of the error behind them and get the focus on the next out, which is what we did. That’s a good sign.”
It also left the door open for Amat to get the win, and opportunity that Alcantara didn’t waste.
It was set up after pinch-hitters Andrew Dela Cruz and Luis Moya and Scott Hurst walked to load the bases with one out. Alcantara then grounded a 3-2 pitch from reliever Aaron Pinto through the drawn-in infield into center field to win it.
“With the bases loaded, and only one out, you’re basically looking for a pitch to drive, up the gap, up the middle,” Alcantara said. “I was also looking to get it in the air and get a sacrifice fly, too.
“Luckily, I got my pitch, battled him to 3-2 and hit it back up the middle.”
St. Paul, which was held to three hits, had rallied to tie it at 2, scoring a run in the fourth and sixth innings, each time taking advantage of a Bishop Amat’ miscue.
Gabriel Esquer led off the fourth with a walk, then advanced to third on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt. He scored on a safety squeeze by Zack Ramsay.
Esquer walked to lead off the sixth. He advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored with two outs following a throwing error on a dropped third strike.
“You win games by getting clutch hits,” St. Paul coach Casey Morales said. “Big guys make big plays. When there’s runners out there, that’s when you have to get the hit not when there’s nobody on base and there’s two outs. When you go 1 for 3 then, that doesn’t mean anything.
“I want the guy who goes 1 for 5 that scores two runs. That’s the thing we’ve had real trouble doing. Once again today, it was missed opportunities, so until we do that, we’re not going to be able to finish people off.”
By Steve Ramirez