With the score tied in the bottom of the fifth against Newhall-Saugus, Woodland Hills West squandered a none-out, bases-loaded opportunity in a game crucial to both teams.
"We've been playing together so long that we can read each other's minds," said Woodland Hills West center fielder Justin Martin. "We knew we were due for a spark and kept trying. If you keep rolling the dice, you'll get a 7 eventually. We were due to hit our stride and get our runs in this game."
Tony Kyber and Randy Wolf combined to pitch shutout ball after the first inning and Woodland Hills West found the spark, rolling out a four-run sixth inning to beat Newhall-Saugus, 7-3, Saturday at El Camino Real High. The game was shortened to seven innings because Newhall-Saugus (13-6-1) had another game later in the day, which it lost to Las Virgenes, 6-3.
The victory sets up today's game between Woodland Hills West (18-2) and Valley North (18-2) for the District 20 Western Division lead.
Jeff Astgen, who went three for three, led off the bottom of the sixth for Woodland Hills West with a double and scored on Martin's single to break the tie off loser Jerrod Henry (1-1). Henry intentionally walked Wolf, then yielded run-scoring doubles to John Novak and Mike Glendenning. Novak went three for three and drove in two runs, while Wolf added two hits and an RBI.
Wolf (5-1) relieved Kyber in the sixth after Kyber gave up five hits and two earned runs.
"We beat a lot of teams with sheer power," said Don Hornback, Woodland Hills West coach. "To be able to play little ball this good as well as kill the ball bodes well for us in the playoffs."
Woodland Hills West tied the score, 3-3, in the fourth inning. After Astgen singled and Mike Smith doubled, Chris Seal drove in Smith with a grounder and Martin beat out a bunt to score Astgen.
Newhall-Saugus' three runs in the first were driven in on hits hits by designated hitter Brandon Ramirez and Steve Bench.