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South Gate Squeaks By Bell, 3-2

March 21, 1993|CHARLES SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In a game dominated by pitching, one hit made the difference.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, South Gate's Raoul Quintero drove a 3-2 pitch into right field to bring home Gabriel Vasquez and lift his team to a 3-2 win over longtime rival Bell in a Southeastern Conference game at South Gate Park on Thursday.

"The rivalry between South Gate and Bell is one of the best in the city," Bell Coach Henry Santiago said. "These schools go at one another in every sport."

And pitchers Alonzo Lopez of South Gate and Yamel Delgado of Bell went at one another for seven innings.

Lopez retired five of the first seven batters he faced, including four in a row. Delgado gave up a hit in the first inning, but ran into trouble in the second when first baseman Jesse Torres led off with a home run to put South Gate ahead 1-0.

But Delgado kept his composure and struck out two batters while scattering three hits over the next three innings.

Bell finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning with three consecutive singles, including an RBI by center fielder Willie Mendez to tie the score at 1-1. Bell loaded the bases, but Delgado hit into a double play to end the threat.

Robert Pineda led off the bottom of the inning with a triple for South Gate, and scored when Jose Montegero singled to center to give South Gate a 2-1 lead.

After a ground out and fly out to start the seventh inning, Bell's Robert Villaverde tripled past the outstretched glove of right fielder Vasquez and came home on a single by Moses Zuniga to tie the score.

Entering the game as a pinch runner to replace a teammate who had walked, Vasquez stole second base and reached third on a throwing error.

With two outs and a full count, Quintero slapped a single over first baseman Val Beltran to win the game.

"These kids just never quit," Santiago said. "There is a lot of class and pride on both of these teams."

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