POWAY — Torrey Pines entered Wednesday's game against Poway as the Palomar League leader, but looked anything but after falling 10-4 on a blustery day at Poway.
Torrey Pines opened the game with a 4-0 lead, but Poway scored nine runs in the fourth inning en route to its win.
Torrey Pines is 3-2 in league, 7-8 overall, and Poway is 2-2, 9-6.
The Titans sent 12 men to the plate against Falcon left-hander Scott Kennedy (2-2) in the nine-run fourth. Poway designated hitter Cory Finnell got the big hit--a three-run homer to left-center, which was his first HR of the season.
"I just wanted to get a base hit," Finnell said. "I wasn't even thinking about a home run. I didn't know it was out until I got around first base."
During the first three innings, Poway hadn't done much against Kennedy, who had allowed a lead-off double to Dennis Carhart in the first, then settled down.
But Kennedy and the Falcons became unraveled in the fourth. Torrey Pines shortstop Steve May bobbled Brian Thornbury's ground ball for an error to start the inning. Thornbury advanced to second on a passed ball. Then Finnell hit a bad-hop single off the glove of third baseman Steve Casper, and the Titans had two on and none out.
Jerry Bennington made it 4-1 with an RBI single to right. Pinch-hitter Scott Anderson walked and a second pinch-hitter, Kevin Kaerth, singled in Poway's second run. On Kaerth's hit, Bennington was tagged out trying score after Anderson had crossed the plate.
After pitcher Tim Johnson popped up, Carhart's long double to left center drove home two runs.
A single by Phil Plantier and Joe Bellezzo's double put Poway up, 6-4. Then Falcon Coach Darold Nogle elected to intentionally walk Thornbury to face Finnell. The junior hit a Kennedy fastball over the left-center field fence.
"I knew I could hit his fast ball," Finnell said. "His curve ball was giving me trouble."
The Falcons gave Johnson plenty of trouble early in the game. Casper drove in a run with single in the first inning, and the Falcons scored two more times in the third. An error by Poway third baseman Bennington and Scott Runager's single put runners on first and second with none out. Then left fielder Bob Vogelpohl doubled down the left field line to bring in Casper and Runager.
Torrey Pines scored a run in the fourth on Runager's solo homer, but should have had more. Vogelpohl and catcher Bret Kammerer had back-to-back singles, but Vogelpohl was called out for missing second on his way to third. So instead of having runners on first and third with none out and a 4-0 lead, the Falcons had one man on base and one out. Craig Mattei struck out and May flew out to end the inning.
Johnson, whose fifth-inning double gave the Titans their 10th run, allowed 13 hits on the day. However, he managed to pitch a complete game to improve his record to 3-0.
"I couldn't get it together early," Johnson said. "I couldn't get my curve ball over the plate, and I'm not a good fast ball pitcher. After the third inning, I got the curve over.
"I was tired by the fourth inning, but wanted to stay in the game. I tried to keep the ball down and make them hit ground balls."
Actually, the Falcons continued to hit Johnson hard, even after the fourth. Torrey Pines got five hits in the final three innings, but failed to score. In the fifth, the Falcons had runners on second and third with two outs and Runager at the plate. Johnson didn't pitch another home run ball to Runager. Instead, he got the second baseman to pop out meekly to first.
Said Poway Coach John Harmon: "I thought about taking Johnson out of the game a couple of times, but left him in the game. He's a competitor."
Harmon also praised his offense, which produced 11 hits.
"We could be one of the better hitting clubs around," he said.
After Wednesday's outburst, the Falcons certainly believe that.
CITY CENTRAL LEAGUE Christian 6, Crawford 5--Christian's Steve Essick doubled to center field to score Bill Donley with the winning run in the eighth inning in a game at Christian High. Donley reached first base when he was hit by a pitch. Essick, Donley and Todd Savage had two hits each to lead a nine-hit Christian attack. Jack Palestini led Crawford (1-1, 5-10) with three hits. Christian is 2-0, 7-6.
Hoover 16, San Diego 4--The Cardinals got 20 hits to even their league record at 2-2 in a game at San Diego. Scott Shepherd had four hits and drove in three RBIs. Sam Aguirre and Mark Gorance had three hits apiece, and Aguirre drove home two runs. Jacob Tyseling (2-0) was the winner for Hoover (1-1, 7-7).
CITY EASTERN LEAGUE Mira Mesa 20, Serra 3--The Marauders (1-1, 9-4) scored 12 runs in the sixth inning on nine hits to blow open the game at Mira Mesa High. Second baseman Tim Conrad and catcher Mark Robert each had two hits in the 12 run sixth. Designated hitter Mike Eicher four RBIs on the day. Serra had a 3-0 lead until Mira Mesa scored three in the fourth and five in the fifth to take an 8-3 lead.
Patrick Henry 13, Point Loma 6--The top-rated Patriots (2-0, 11-1) had 16 hits in the game at Patrick Henry. The Patriots scored four in the first to take a 4-2 lead and after increasing the lead to 7-3, added six runs in the fifth. Mike Thomas hit a three-run homer for Patrick Henry in the first inning. Scott Middaugh also had three hits for the Patriots. Kelly Schlager had a solo-homer for Point Loma (1-1, 8-4) in the fourth inning.