Polytechnic High baseball Coach Jerry Cord said that the hardest rally to stop is one that's fueled by a two-out error.
It's even harder to get out of an inning that's extended by four errors.
Cord could only offer a blank stare while watching his team self-destruct Thursday against Sylmar, which scored five unearned runs in the bottom of the second inning en route to a 7-5 East Valley League victory at Sylmar. The win improved the Spartans' overall record to 5-4, 4-2 in league.
"If we can't make the routine plays, we don't deserve to win," said Cord, whose team (5-4 overall, 3-2 in league) also left 10 runners on base. "We get 13 hits and our pitcher throws a five-hitter. That should be good enough to win."
With Poly leading, 1-0, Sylmar starting pitcher Carlos Armendarez opened the second inning with a single off right-hander Jose Banuelos (1-1). Ruben Loy sacrificed Armendarez to second, Ricki Diaz flied out and Tony Taisacan drew a two-out walk.
Then the roof caved in.
David Nunez hit a grounder to Poly second baseman Harbind Walia, who kicked the ball into center field. Tom Shelburne stroked a bases-loaded chopper that banged off the shoulder of shortstop Don Senegal, scoring Armendarez. Isidro Rodriguez made the score 3-1 with a two-run double into left field. Art Monreal then bounced a soft grounder to first baseman Hans Hekking, who muffed the ball, allowing Shelburne to score. Monreal stole second and Rodriguez stole home for the final run when Walia's return throw from second to home was wild.
"We've been having trouble doing the little things on offense," said Sylmar Coach John Klitsen. "We had our No. 9 hitter battle with two strikes and he got us going with a little grounder to short."
Poly pounded Armendarez for three runs on nine hits in 3 innings, but could do little against reliever Olonzo Woodfin. The sophomore left-hander, who struck out 11 Verdugo Hills batters on Tuesday, bailed the Spartans out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning and finished the game to improve his record to 3-0.
Parrot right fielder Louis Porres led all hitters with a 4-for-4 effort, while teammates Danny Gil and Kenny Tatum added three hits apiece.
POLY--Banuelos and Hunt.
SYLMAR--Armendarez, Woodfin (4) and Shelburne.
WP--Woodfin (3-0); LP--Banuelos (1-1).