Pacifica tops Los Al on late-game run

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First baseman Drew Emmons fields a throw to first on a pickoff attempt. Photo by Ted Apodaca

A couple of late miscues put the Los Alamitos High baseball team’s backs against the wall and Pacifica took advantage to plate the go-ahead run in a 2-1 win over the Griffins in a Ryan Lemmon Tournament game on Monday at Pacifica High.

The game was tied 3-3 after three innings as each team missed some chances to add runs with timely hits. Pacifica had a shot to take a lead in the top of the fourth on a deep fly to right. But the Griffin defense nailed the runner at home with a relay from right field.

Likewise, the Griffins had a leadoff walk in the top of the sixth, but the runner was thrown out trying to steal second on rifle throw from catcher Chad Gurnea. After a strikeout, Jakob Voge doubled, but was left stranded on another strikeout by relief pitcher Aidan Colin. Despite the loss, Griffins’ coach Matt Nuez said the team is coming along.

Joshua Donegan pitched two innings of shutout relief, including setting the Mariners down in order in the bottom of the fifth. Photo by Ted Apodaca

“We’ve been on the field for three weeks, so we’re just trying to figure it out, I love our group, you know we just got to get them in rhythm a bit,” Nuez said. 

After the Mariners plated the go-ahead run in the sixth they had a chance to add to the score. Michael Pirrello got a one-out single, prompting Los Al to bring in Owen Kendrick to pitch in relief.

Pacifica looped a pitch to short left, but Griffin shortstop Zach Peters made a running catch and fired back to first to catch the runner off base for an inning-ending double play.

In the top of the seventh, Nate Dowdell lined a two-out single and stole second base. He advanced to third on a wild pitch, but was stranded, when Colin got a strikeout to end the game.

For Pacifica it was their first win of the season, after three tight games. Mariner coach Mike Caira said his team is young, but starting to find its identity.

“We had 14 seniors last year, we were top 10 in the county and then this year, we’re replacing everyone,” Caira said. “but they’re really coming along and I really like the athleticism and they’re doing an excellent job.”