By Steve Ramirez
GLENDORA – The CIF-Southern Section baseball playoffs can be cruel sometimes.
Glendora High School found that out Tuesday.
Shane Bieber scored on a wild pitch to tie the score and Kevin Cunningham had an infield single for the lead in the seventh inning and vsiting Laguna Hills rallied for five runs in the final two innings for a 5-2 victory to eliminate the Tartans in a Division 2 wild-card game.
The Hawks, also getting three RBIs from Jared Donahoe, improved to 18-13 and advanced to face Dos Pueblos in Friday’s first round. Glendora, getting a home run from Billy Sanford and five solid innings from pitcher Kale Morton, finished 17-10.
“We were in position to win this game,” Glendora coach Dan Henley said. “That’s a good position to be in. I’ll take a 2-1 lead going into the seventh anytime.
“It didnt’ work out. It’s unfortunate. They (the Glendora players) will wear it for awhile. Hopefully, they’ll look at it. The young guys will have to use it for motivation for next year, and the guys leaving will use it for motivation to pursuing their careers.”
CIF-Southern Section Playoffs
Baseball Wild Card
Righetti 3, Chino Hills 0
Laguna Hills 5, Glendora 2
Damien 9, Oxnard Pacifica 2
West Covina 7, Palm Springs 5
Northview 12, at Ridgecrest Burroughs 3
Nogales 8, Norte Vista 3
Cerritos Valley Christian 9, Gladstone 2
The Tartans looked in good shape to advance through the first five inings, leading 2-0 before Laguna Hills cut it to 2-1 in the sixth on an RBI double by Donahoe. Then it fell apart in the seventh.
Eric Flores, who relieved Morton in the sxith, hit three consecutive batters to load the bases with one out. Matt Young relieved Flores and struck out Cameron Bondy for the second out. But a wild pitch scored Beiber to tie it at 3. Cunningham, after Noah Anderson walked to load the bases, then hit a chopper off the plate that third baseman Sanford had to hold, allowing Lucky Zuvich to score for a 3-2 lead.
Donahoe followed with a two run single to push it to 5-2. Bieber, who gave up four hits and struck out five, got the Tartans in order to win it.
“Losing is never an enjoyable experience,” Henley said. “I thought we came out here and competed well. They took advantage of situations in the seventh inning and it happened in a hurry.
“It was boom, boom, boom. We were one pitch away, but when it rains it pours. Yeah, it’s frustrating, but that’s part of the life plan”
The loss overshadowed a solid effort from Morton, who was a fill-in starter for Scott Burke. The junior carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before replaced in the sixh after giving up a run. He gave up four hits and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings.
Glendora led 2-0 after two innings. D.J. Peters scored on a RBI grounder by Martin Gallegos in the first and Sanford hit a home run in the second.
“He did a great job,” Henley said of Morton. “He’s a junior and he’s going to have many more opportunities like this. It was special effort he had for the ball club today.”
But the Tartans were handcuffed by Bieber, who gave up just one hit over the final five innigns, allowing his team to rally for the victory and eliminate the Tartans.<