Coaches at Saugus and Canyon highs have been complaining all season about the number of tie games in the Golden League.
Friday's game didn't make them any happier. Their teams played to an 8-8 tie in eight innings.
"I could never be satisfied with two ties," said Canyon Coach Wally Hammond. "I wish the CIF would let us play off ties. It would make a things a lot easier."
After wild and time-consuming first and second innings that saw Canyon take an 8-5 lead, neither team scored until Saugus came down to its final at-bat.
When it was over, Canton reliever Joe Crawford had given up a game-tying, two-run single to John Meyers.
Pitcher Kevin Miner led off that seventh with his third walk of the game and was replaced by pinch-runner Scott Hollenbeck. One out later, left fielder Steve Resinger was hit by a pitch, and center fielder Charlie Miltenberger singled to load the bases for designated-hitter Kent Gustaveson.
He responded with a single to center to score Hollenbeck. Crawford struck out Matt Riley but couldn't get past Meyers.
The game started as if it would have lasted through the night.
Canyon scored three runs in the top of the first and five in the second against Miner, who two starts earlier had thrown a no-hitter against Palmdale and lost, 1-0.
"The whole time they were calling for Miner and they couldn't handle him for the last six innings," said Saugus Coach Doug Worley.
Said Hammond of the opposing starter: "Miner did a good job the last four innings. We left too many men on base."
While the Cowboys were scoring early in bunches, the Centurions sent Canyon starter Jeff Hairell, who was making his first start in two years, to an early exit.
After scoring twice in the bottom of the first, Saugus came back with three in the second to chase Hairell off the mound. The Centurions may have scored more runs if not for a controversial play that ended the inning.
With the bases loaded and two out, Miltenberger hit a one-hopper to the left of third baseman Greg Carr. Just as he was about to take the ball out of his glove and throw it to first, Chris Joy, who was going from second to third, collided with him. Joy was called out on the play after the umpires ruled that Carr tagged him out.
"That should have been an interference call," Worley said. "I thought that was a terrible call. It took away a run and left us with the bases loaded."
In his 1 innings, Hairell allowed five runs on three hits, walked seven and struck out one.
His replacement, Fred Rivera, gave up two hits in the second but breezed until the seventh, when Hammond said he started to tire. Crawford came in and surrendered the tying single to Meyers.
Both schools are 2-1-2 and remain tied for second place behind Antelope Valley.