Cal’s lead in DRL grows to two games with three to play

The baseball race in the Del Rio League got a little clearer Wednesday, with Cal taking a two-game lead on La Serna and El Rancho moving into third place alone with three games to play.
Cal improved to 11-1 in league play with an 8-0 victory over Santa Fe while second-place La Serna lost to Whittier 6-2. The Lancers are now 9-3 in the DRL, two games back of the Condors. But with a four-game lead on El Rancho – and the head-to-head tiebreaker – La Serna will finish no worse than second.
El Rancho moved into sole possession of third Wednesday, thanks to its 5-2 victory over Pioneer and Santa Fe’s loss to Cal. The Dons are now 4-7 in league play after a 1-6 start, and they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Chiefs (3-8), who have lost five consecutive DRL games.
The El Rancho-Pioneer game featured several superb defensive plays. El Rancho first baseman Manny Mercado made a beautiful diving catch of a Jon Garcia bunt attempt in the fifth inning, laying out to get his glove under the ball just before it fell into foul ground. In the seventh, Pioneer center fielder Nate Yorba saved at least one run – and possibly an inside-the-park home run – when he made a remarkable diving catch of an Adrian Palacios drive. Palacios laced the ball into the left-center gap, and Yorba not only ran the ball down, not only laid completely out to get his glove on it, but held on after crashing to the ground and held his glove up for the umpire to see. El Rancho coach Frank Llanes said it was one of the finest defensive plays he’s seen in 30 years of coaching in the Whittier area.

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