By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
WALNUT – Never doubt the heart of a champion.
Bonita High School showed why Tuesday.
Alex Gonzalez and Danny Gelalich had RBIs in the the seventh inning and Ethan Muro a game-winning single in the eighth as the Bearcats scored an improbable comeback in a 6-5 victory over first-place Walnut in a key Hacienda League game.
Nick Johnson also pitched 3 2/3 shutout innings for Bonita, which improved to 13-5 overall and 4-1 in league play. Walnut, which got six solid innings from Christian Longoria and two RBIs from Steven Canedo, slipped to 10-7-2 and 2-1.
The teams meet at Bonita on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
Walnut looked like it might stretch its league lead after leading 5-3 after six innings. But it all fell apart for the Mustangs after Bonita loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh following a walk, a fielding error and a hit-batter.
Gonzalez singles to make it 5-4 before Gelalich worked a one-out walk to tie it at 5.
Montgomery Montenegro then reached third with one out in the eighth on an infield single, a throwing error and a wild pitch. Muro then singled to right for the 6-5 lead.
Walnut, which missed a chance to win in the seventh after putting runners on first and second with no outs, then went in order in the eighth.
Bonita coach John Knott: “Walnut was tough. It was sloppy in the sense that both teams made mistakes, but credit our guys for not packing it in when we were down a couple of runs late. We had some big hits when we needed them, including Ethan Muro in the eighth inning.”
Bonita’s Ethan Muro: “This is kind of way our team’s been all year. We’re kind of underdogs now. Everyone says this is a rebuilding year, and that fires us up. I guess you can say my team wants it more than any team we play.”