When Fullerton High School unleashes its oft-potent offense, it can overpower some of the best teams in Orange County.
But the Indians have also experienced the frustration of a semi- potent offense.
Fullerton left 13 runners on base in a 6-4 loss to La Habra Wednesday at Fullerton. Troy beat Sunny Hills, 4-3, Wednesday to clinch the Freeway League title.
The Indians (9-5, 15-8) will need a victory at La Habra (8-6, 11-9) Friday to take second place.
La Habra, which leads fourth-place Sonora by a game, would get the second-place seed for the Southern Section 3-A playoffs with a victory Friday. But if La Habra loses and Sonora wins, the Raiders would get the Southern Section berth because they defeated the Highlanders in two of three league games this year.
Wednesday, La Habra hit four home runs--two by winning pitcher Matt Lipscomb. Carlos Martinez (5-1) pitched 5 innings, allowing eight hits and all four homers.
"Those aren't home runs in our park," La Habra Coach Paul Thomas said of the short fences. "We beat a helluva a pitcher today."
But Fullerton Coach David Torres wouldn't buy that excuse.
"We play here the whole year," Torres said. "We've lived and died by the home run. Today we died by it. It was (Martinez's) worst performance of the year."
Still, Fullerton, which hit four home runs in a 12-6 victory over Troy Friday, could have won the game with some clutch hitting. The Indians left the bases loaded twice, failing to take advantage of nine walks by Lipscomb. Fullerton also stranded 13 runners in a nine-inning, 3-2 loss to La Habra earlier in the season.
"Every time we lose we seem to do that," Torres said.
The bases were loaded and the score tied, 3-3, with two outs in the fifth inning when Lipscomb struck out Jeff Bailey, who has eight home runs.
In the sixth, the Highlanders' Jamie Hutcherson hit a two-run homer to left field, his first home run of the season. Jim Wright followed with another homer to left to give La Habra a three-run lead.
In other Freeway League games:
Troy 4, Sunny Hills 3--Kyle Cobrun hit a two-run home run in the fourth for Warriors (11-3, 17-6), who clinched the league championship at Sunny Hills. Chris Robinson (10-2) pitched a complete game for Troy and Saul Lopez (5-5) took the loss for fifth-place Sunny Hills (5-9, 11-13). Trevor Paintor hit a two-run home run to tie the score, 2-2, in the first for Sunny Hills.
Buena Park 6, Sonora 1--Brent Rousello (2-4) pitched a two-hitter and struck out two for Buena Park at Cypress College. Robert Speno drove in two runs and Matt Acevedo and Paul Glasser each drove in one for the last-place Coyotes (2-12, 2-16). Sonora, fourth-place in the Freeway League, is 7-7 and 10-11.