STAYING IN THE HUNT: California players celebrate after scoring a 4-2 victory over rival La Serna to remain in a three-way tie for
first in the Del Rio League.
(Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger)
By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
WHITTIER — It looked all too familiar.
But this time the California High School baseball team was ready.
The Condors, after letting a lead slip away from them the last time they hosted rival La Serna, wasn’t about to let it happen again.
Relievers Robert Barraza and Ruben Pinedo saved the day and host California remained in a tie for first in the Del Rio League Friday with a 4-2 victory over the Lancers.
The Condors, also getting two RBIs from Jesse Oropeza, improved to 15-6 overall and 8-3 in league play. California remained tied for first with El Rancho and Whittier, who beat Pioneer (10-1) and Santa Fe (6-3), respectively.
La Serna, which was denied after loading the bases with two outs in the seventh, slipped to 12-9-1 and 6-5. Ryan Cordova had two RBIs for the Lancers.
La Serna also had chances in the final two innings.
The Lancers, getting a lead-off double by Goethe in the sixth, had runners on first and second with one out when Calander drew a walk on a check swing.
But Goethe was running on the play and when California catcher Daniel Marquez threw low to third, the ball ticked off third baseman Michael Davis’ glove and Goethe tried to advance. But Davis’ throw easily beat him home for the second out.
Barraza then struck out Kyle Dow to end the threat.
La Serna loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. Garcia hit a double to left to advantage pinch-hitter Austin Johnson, who had singled with one out, to third. Goethe was walked intentionally before Pinedo induced Mark Abbate to hit a pop up to right that second baseman Anthony Von Slomski was able to track down to end it.
California coach Tony Nieto: “We lost to them (here) the last time and felt we gave it away. It was pretty much the same situation. We got the lead and they came back. I’m incredibly proud of my players. We didn’t crack today. We knew they were going to challenge us and come back. But we stood strong and we got a big win.”
La Serna coach Anthony Gonzalez Jr.: “We had a lot of chances. We’re always going to battle. It just didn’t happen today.”