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City 3-A Baseball Final : Alexander Pitches University to 6-2 Victory Over Bell

June 03, 1988|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER | Times Staff Writer

University High School of Los Angeles, with junior Eric Alexander pitching his third complete game in a week, won the City 3-A baseball title with a 6-2 victory over Bell Thursday at Dodger Stadium.

Alexander, who beat L.A. Marshall in the semifinals Tuesday and Huntington Park in the quarterfinals last Friday, scattered eight hits, but although he never retired the side in order, he was in control the entire way. The biggest rally the defending champions could mount was two hits in the same inning, and then only twice.

"He only had to use his fastball," University Coach Frank Cruz said. "He didn't use many curveballs, just for a look. He's a strong youngster."

Exactly how strong was debatable.

"I didn't think I'd get past the fifth inning," Alexander said. "I was pretty shaky (at the start), pretty nervous. But after the first inning, I kind of cooled down. . . . I got pretty tired again in the sixth inning. By then, I was on empty."

It was a 1-1 game going into the bottom of the fourth, when University (22-10-1) broke it open. The key was a mental mistake by Bell catcher Gustavo Mungaray, who, thinking he had a force at home, didn't tag Alexander at the plate after Salvador Moreno's one-out ground ball to shortstop. That made it 2-1, and the Warriors scored twice more in the inning and twice in the fifth.

Bell (23-5) came back to make it 6-2 in the top of the sixth, but got nothing more off Alexander.

"I felt that was the turning point," Bell Coach Bob Moroney said of Mungaray's mistake. "He thought the bases were loaded. It's just one of the mental mistakes kids make when they're wrapped up in the game."

First baseman Robert Garcia accounted for both Bell runs, driving in Pablo Gomez with a fourth-inning single and Rene Lopez with a sixth-inning sacrifice fly.

Catcher Scott Beber had 2 runs batted in for University, despite going 0 for 1. Kevin Millar scored on his sacrifice fly in the fourth and Noel Edwards on his bases-loaded walk in the fifth.

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