By Stephen Ramirez
WHITTIER – A loss is usually a bad thing, but a setback to Santa Fe last week may have been the perfect medicine for the California High School baseball team.
Mike Elliott and Gilly Rodriguez each hit two-run doubles and host California capped a two-game sweep over Whittier with a 5-0 victory over the Cardinals in a Del Rio League game on Friday.
Elliott also combined with Jakob Johnston on a three-hitter for the Condors, who improved to 14-3 overall and 5-2 in league play. They moved one game ahead of Whittier. Both teams entered the day in a four-way tie for first, along with Santa Fe and La Serna, who faced Pioneer and El Rancho, respectively, on Friday.
Whittier, which began the week atop the standings, slipped to 12-9 and 4-3.
Cal, which beat Whittier, 8-0, on Wednesday, took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Alex Gonzalez led off with a single and Louis Murillo followed with a one-out double. Elliott then doubled to left-center field for a 2-0 lead.
Cal coach Tony Nieto: “You never want to lose in league. It was kind of a wake-up call to re-energize us; re-establish our goals of not trying to do too much.
“Baseball, as you know, is a roller coaster of highs and lows. That (loss) was a low, and hopefully, we can keep going high right here.”
Whittier coach Eric Ramirez: “Today, it was a good baseball game and (Cal) earned it. We had a good effort. I’m proud of my team. We’re still in great shape and they’ll respond (the rest of the season).”
Cal’s Mike Elliott: “I was just trying to put the ball in play, just hit it hard somewhere to get us a run.”