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HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP : Mendoza Delivers for Aztecs

April 05, 1992|JOHN GEIS

Afterward, both Montgomery Coach Manny Hermosillo and Mar Vista's Alex Santana talked about their good pitching and good defense.

They just as easily could have talked about their lousy hitting.

Mar Vista stranded 11 runners and Montgomery abandoned 13 as the teams took the championship game of the Mar Vista/Pepsi Tournament into the 11th inning Saturday before Montgomery's Armando Mendoza won it with a two-out single to right, driving in Oscar Robles for a 4-3 victory.

With a 3-0 count, Mendoza took strike one, thinking the pitch from Dimas Acavedo was a bit outside. The next pitch was in the same spot, but this time Mendoza decided to swing.

Which was a good idea, considering Hermosillo was already angry enough with his cleanup hitter. In Mendoza's previous five at-bats he failed to get the ball out of the infield. He stranded three runners, two in scoring position.

"Coach was getting on my case all day," Mendoza said. "But that's all right because that's his job. He was just trying to put pressure on me to do the job I should have been doing. I was having a rotten day and I knew I had to come through."

Hermosillo said he wasn't really angry with Mendoza, just patient.

"He's our cleanup hitter," the coach said, "and he left a lot of runners on base, but I stuck with him. I knew he had to do it; he's a battler and a great guy, and nobody could have done it better."

Both teams combined to use seven pitchers, the top effort, though, belonged to Mar Vista's first reliever, right-handed senior Bobby Rector, who entered the game in the bottom of the seventh, no outs and a man on third.

Rector struck out Jose Lorenzana, induced pinch-hitter Jason Proffitte into a shallow fly to right, then got Mendoza to ground out to second to end he threat and send the game into extra innings.

Mar Vista got to Montgomery starter Eduardo Duarte for two runs in the first on two-out doubles from Rick Quinones and Carlos Quinones, but Montgomery tied it with a two-out rally of its own in the bottom of the second, a double by Alex Palacio being the key hit.

Montgomery kept its record unblemished at 9-0, and Mar Vista fell to 7-3-1.

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