What do we always say about baseball in the San Gabriel Valley, we can beat anyone. South Hills, Bishop Amat, Diamond Bar, San Dimas, Baldwin Park and Northview all win, giving SGV 6-0 record in Division’s 2-4. Bring on the freaking quarterfinals …
Photo gallery of Northview, South Torrance
By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
COVINA — How quickly momentum swings, just ask South Torrance.
Northview’s Kollby Oriti walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to force in the game winning run, scoring Alex Labor from third to give the Vikings a 5-4 victory over visiting South Torrance in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 baseball playoffs on Tuesday.
“I’d rather hit my guy in,” Oriti said. “But who cares, we got the win and we’re moving on.”
South Torrance was still trying to understand a controversial call moments earlier that took its go-ahead run away.
Trailing 4-2 in the top of the seventh, South Torrance loaded the bases with one out. Kyle Henmi doubled in the gap to score the tying runs with the go-ahead runner, Josh Rotuna, rounding third and colliding with Vikings catcher Gabe Rojo in a play at the plate. (To continue click thread).
CIF-SS Baseball Playoffs
Tuesday’s Second Round Results
South Hills 4, San Clemente 3
Bishop Amat 8, Palm Desert 6
Diamond Bar 6, St. Paul 0
Northview 5, South Torrance 4
San Dimas 1, Santa Ana Calvary Chapel 0
Baldwin Park 6, La Serna 3
Village Christian 14, El Monte 1
Oak Hills 14, Sierra Vista 1
South Hills at Vista Murrieta, 3:15 p.m.
Mira Costa at Bishop Amat, 2:30 p.m.
Diamond Bar at Gahr, 3:15 p.m.
Oaks Christian at Northview, 3:15 p.m.
Sonora at San Dimas, 3:15 p.m.
Baldwin Park at La Sierra, 3:15 p.m.
The umpire ruled Rotuna out, then after noticing that Rojo dropped the ball, ruled him safe, giving South Torrance a 5-4 lead.
Northview appealed shortly after, arguing the runner never touched home and a field umpire agreed, ruling the runner out at home, tying the score 4-4.
“The (umpire) called him out, then safe, then they rule he never touched the plate, a little confusing, “South coach Grady Sain said. “He (runner) wasn’t ruled out until after the play was dead and then they appealed.
“It’s one of those things where it could have gone either way and unfortunately it went there way.”
Northview will advance to the quarterfinals to face Oaks Christian. Home field will be decided by a coin flip this morning.
Vikings coach Darren Murphy said he had a clear view of the play at home.
“It (the call) was a huge momentum changer but at the end of the day coaches always want the right call and that was the right call,” Murphy said. “He never touched home plate. Rojo’s tag knocked him off his feet and he was never within two or three feet of the plate.”
South Torrance’s Kurtis Brajevich singled home Konnor Provin for a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Spartans pitcher Matt Mogollon took a perfect game into the fourth, but that’s when the Northview bats came alive.
Jake Grijalva doubled home Brian Centeno and Anthony Amaya’s grounder was mishandled, allowing Grijalva to take third and score on a wild throw, giving the Vikings a 2-1 lead.
The Vikings added two more. Rojo singled home Amaya and Alex Labor singled in Rojo, extending the Vikings’ lead to 4-1.
“We had one bad inning,” Sain said. “But we battled back and had our chances in the late innings.”
South Torrance loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth, forcing Murphy to replace starter Niko Castaneda with Oriti.
After Oriti walked a runner to force in a run to trim the Vikings’ lead to 4-2, Oriti got back-to-back strikeouts and a ground out to go to the sixth inning leading, 4-2.
“If you’re going to go down, you don’t mind going down with (Oriti), he’s all heart and guts,” Murphy said. “ I wanted to go to him sooner than later. These are suicide games, you don’t have time to look back, I wanted to make sure we got him the ball early enough in the game where he has an impact on what happens.
“He walked in the run, then was clutch. He did exactly what he had to do.”