By Steve Ramirez
LA PUENTE — Bishop Amat High School was hoping to lock up second place in the Del Rey League Friday.
Cathedral had other ideas.
The visiting Phantoms, taking advantage of back-to-back Lancer errors in the sixth and a solid effort on the mound from Brian Duenas, took over the No. 2 slot with a 5-0 victory over Bishop Amat in a Del Rey League baseball game.
Duenas tossed a four-hitter and struck out four for Cathedral, which improved to 14-13 overall and 6-2 in league play. The Phantoms also received two-run singles from Henry Martinez and Chris Recendis.
Bishop Amat, which had its seven-game winning streak snapped, slipped to 14-11 and 5-3.
The Lancers, despite the setback, are still in good position to finish in second, with Cathedral facing first-place Serra twice next week while Bishop Amat gets a home and home series against last-place Bishop Montgomery.
But for now, the Lancers will reflect on their miscues on Friday.
“The bottom line is that we were trading punches, locked in a 0-0 game and we broke down on defense,” Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto said. “We couldn’t get an out on a bunt, hit a batter … We broke down. Their pitcher did a good job. He threw strikes and they made the plays on defense.
“You can’t expect to win when you make three errors in one inning. It was 0-0 going into (the sixth) and we didn’t play championship defense. That was the difference in the game.”
Cathedral, which dropped an 8-2 setback to the Lancers on Tuesday, loaded the bases in the sixth on a fielding error, a missed tag on a sacrifice bunt and a walk to Junior Aguilar.
Alan Rodriguez then relieved starter Alex Garcia and hit catcher David Sanchez to force over a run. Martinez, after Duenas struck out, followed with a two-run single for a 3-0 lead.
Recendis had a two-run single in the seventh to push it to 5-0.
Bishop Amat, meanwhile, could hardly touch Duenas, who yielded just six baserunners, with the Lancers first two hits coming with two outs. Bishop Amat finally had a shot to break through when Adam Alcantara, who had two hits, singled to lead off the fourth.
He advanced to third on a sacrifice and a groundout before being stranded when catcher Michael Palos lined out to center field.
Bishop Amat also had runners on in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings before Duenas ended it on a groundout by Daryl Daniels.
“We need to go back to work and play championship baseball,” Nieto said. “We need to get our outs. When you fail to get your outs, I don’t care who you are playing, you’re exposing yourself to a rally. Therefore, a potential loss if it’s late in the game.”
By Steve Ramirez