The Servite and Mater Dei high school baseball teams both came into Friday's Angelus League finale hoping to gain a share of the league championship with Bishop Amat.
Instead, the teams had to settle for a 5-5 tie in a heated game that was called after nine innings because of darkness. Bishop Amat, which concluded league play with a 18-6 victory over St. Paul Friday, won the league title with a 12-3 record.
Servite (11-3-1) had to be content with second place in the six-team league and Mater Dei (10-4-1) third. If Mater Dei had won and Bishop Amat had lost, the race would have ended in a three-way tie for first.
Mater Dei appeared to be heading for a 5-4 victory going into the bottom of the seventh, but Servite's designated hitter, Mike Petko, lined the first pitch off Monarch pitcher Greg Shockey over the center-field fence to tie the score.
Petko's first homer of the season barely cleared the 30-foot fence. As Petko rounded the bases, Servite Coach Mike McNary dropped to his knees and bowed to the big junior.
Mater Dei had another good opportunity to win the game in the eighth. Craig Barkley walked two batters to open the inning and McNary replaced him with Andy Croghan.
Croghan threw a wild pitch to move the runners to second and third, and then settled down to strike out the next two batters. He walked another batter to load the bases, but got right fielder Jim Austin to ground out to short to end the inning.
"We couldn't hit with men on base today," said Bob Ickes, Mater Dei coach. "Croghan did a good job for them. This game had a playoff atmosphere. We got ahead, 3-1, and when they came back, we tightened."
Mater Dei capitalized on three errors by Servite in the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead. But Servite rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning and held a 4-3 lead until Mater Dei leadoff batter Larry Sutton hit a two-run homer in the sixth.
"You'll never see two more evenly matched teams than these two today," McNary said. "Mater Dei has improved so much since the beginning of the season and that's a credit to Bob Ickes. We were on the edge today so many times, it was difficult to tell what was going to happen. Of course, they were, too."
In the Sunset League:
Westminster 9, Ocean View 7--The Lions (9-5-1, 18-6-1) trailed, 4-0, after two innings but scored seven runs in the fourth to defeat the Seahawks (12-3, 18-6) at Ocean View. Robbie Turner hit a three-run homer in the fourth, and Al Rodriguez had a two-run double and an RBI double in the inning.
Rodriguez, who added a two-run homer in the sixth, finished with five RBIs and two runs scored. Mike Fyhrie led Ocean View with three hits, including a homer and two RBIs, and Matt Bertram and Mike Danduran each added home runs.
Fountain Valley 6, Marina 4--The Barons scored four runs in the fifth with the help of four Viking errors on their way to the victory at Fountain Valley. Five of Fountain Valley's six runs were unearned.
In the Garden Grove League:
Santiago 6, Garden Grove 5--Trinidad Cisneros scored the winning run on Steve Larson's fielder's choice in the sixth to help the Cavaliers (7-8, 10-13) defeat the Argonauts (7-8, 12-13) at Santiago High.
Ernie Chavez hit a two-run homer in the second for Santiago, and John Weber hit a two-run homer in the third for Garden Grove. Willie Hernandez pitched four innings of scoreless relief to gain the victory.
Bolsa Grande 7, Los Amigos 3--Robby Walker had a three-run double in the third to lead the Matadors at home. Andy Miramotes had two hits and two RBIs for Bolsa Grande, which goes into the Southern Section playoffs as the league's second-place team. Eric Schreifels (6-2) pitched five innings for the victory. Ed Hyatt had three hits, including a triple for Los Amigos (1-13-1, 2-18-1).
In the Orange League:
Brea-Olinda 5, Anaheim 2--Jim Murray (6-5) pitched a six-hitter for the Wildcats (10-5, 11-11) at Anaheim. Russ Barnes and Mike Oziminski had two hits and one RBI each for Brea, and Greg Gistlinck had two doubles for Anaheim (2-13, 4-21). Brea goes into the Southern Section playoffs as the league's No. 2 team.
Magnolia 3, Western 2 (8 innings)--Mike Tietge hit a two-out, RBI single in the eighth to lift the Sentinels (7-7-1, 10-11-1) over the Pioneers (6-9, 14-11-1) at Magnolia High. Magnolia tied the score, 2-2, in the seventh on a single and three straight walks. Marty Neff pitched a complete game for the Sentinels.