SAN DIEGO — Madison High School's baseball team had Montgomery pitcher Lee Langevin on the ropes for four innings Monday afternoon. Eight Warhawk batters reached base, five got as far as second base and two more advanced to third.
But the Hawks never could deliver the knockout blow, and the Aztecs, paced by Langevin's gutsy pitching and several outstanding plays behind him in the field, held on for a 1-0 win in Lions/Mike Morrow Tournament AAA Division action at Poway.
Rudy Rodriguez drove in the only run, with a double that scored Mike Morales in the bottom of the third inning.
The win improved Montgomery's record to 8-2-1 and evened its tournament mark at 1-1. The Aztecs face Helix this afternoon at 2, also at Poway, in the final day of pool play before the semifinals and finals on Wednesday.
Madison fell to 8-3 overall and 0-2 in the tournament.
Langevin, a junior right-hander, spent half the game in trouble and the other half nearly invincible. After stranding seven Madison runners in the first four innings, he retired 11 of the last 12 hitters, mainly on the strength of a sharp curveball.
The key, Langevin said, was that he could depend on his defense.
"In the last couple of games we've made some errors," said Langevin, who is 3-0. "I had to work hard to strike the other team's batters out. But the defense played good today."
Montgomery Coach Manuel Hermosillo also spoke about his team's defensive effort.
"That was our best defense of the season," he said. "We lost 4-1 Saturday to Poway and gave up three unearned runs. This time we had no errors. Our shortstop (Rudy Rodriguez) made three errors Saturday. He didn't make any today. His defense was impeccable."
Rodriguez's fielding prevented a Madison run in the top of the second. With two out and runners on first and second, Warhawk Alan Barsoom hit a grounder past third baseman Ramiro Ramirez. If Rodriguez hadn't dived to stop the ball from going into left field, Madison's Steve Eller would have scored from second on the hit.
Instead, the Warhawks were left with the bases loaded. Langevin then induced Jimmie Dean to hit into a force to end the inning.
In the first, Montgomery second baseman Jim Wold made a spectacular play to save two runs. Madison had runners on second and third with two out when Jon McRae hit a soft line drive that was headed for right-center field before Wold dove and snared it.
All told, Langevin allowed five hits and five walks while striking out six. Madison pitcher Scott Anderson also went the route, surrendering four hits, fanning five and walking two. He only allowed three balls out of the infield in the first five innings.
In other AAA Division action:
Granite Hills 7, Chula Vista 4--Don Carroll hit a grand slam and Brian Schwartz pitched well in relief to lead Granite Hills to victory on the Eagles' field. Carroll's grand slam was the key blow for the Eagles, who improved their overall record to 8-2 and their AAA Division tournament mark to 2-0. Schwartz came on in the top of the second and went the rest of the way to get the win.
Patrick Henry 5, Sweetwater 2--Mike Thomas was the main man for the Patriots, driving in four runs with a home run and a double at Grossmont. Patrick Henry took a 3-0 lead over the Red Devils (4-8) after one inning, thanks largely to Thomas' two-run double.
Mount Miguel 8, Grossmont 4--Three-run home runs by Jason Stewart and Martin Melanese led the Matadors (3-8) to their second tournament win at Grossmont (6-5). Stewart's blast put his team ahead to stay, 4-1, in the third inning.
Mira Mesa 5, Southwest 3--The Marauders (7-1, 2-0 in the tournament) scored twice in the top of the seventh inning to beat the Raiders at Santana. Victor Baltrunas scored first for Mira Mesa in the seventh, dashing home from third on a wild pitch. Ernie Burton then scored on a sacrifice by Jason Adelman.
Santana 19, Monte Vista 3--The Sultans (8-2), who have scored 32 runs in two tournament games, were never threatened at Santana. Jim Tatum led off the game with a home run. Three batters later, Jim Frankel hit a three-run homer to help Santana to a 9-0 first-inning lead.
Helix 10, Poway 3--The Highlanders (7-3), dark horses in a tournament pool that included highly considered Poway, Montgomery and Madison, moved to 2-0 in tournament play. Larry Simms led Helix with his pitching and hitting, striking out nine and hitting a home run and a triple.
In the AA Division:
Hoover 19, Escondido 14--The Cardinals (5-5) and Cougars (3-8) combined for 34 hits in a slugfest at Hoover. Aaron Bornstein went 4 for 4 for Hoover, while Ken Matthews was 4 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs. Joe Perry hit a two-run homer for Escondido in the first.
Hilltop 8, University 4--The Lancers (8-3) scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning, then held on to beat the Dons (5-5) at Hilltop. Gary Fessia pitched the entire game for Hilltop, striking out nine and scattering eight hits, while accounting for two hits and two RBIs of his own at the plate.