CHATSWORTH — The first pitch was delayed for 68 minutes, it took three hours to play the game and the home plate umpire wore cowboy boots and sunglasses.
Calabasas High pitcher Tanner Trosper won't forget Saturday's 14-4 victory over Chatsworth in the semifinals of the rain-delayed Westside tournament any time soon, and the best part is, few of his memories will have anything to do with the details mentioned above.
Because of scheduling problems, the Coyotes aren't sure when or where they will play Ventura in the championship game. This game had to be rescheduled twice because of rain.
Making his second start of the season, Trosper (2-0) allowed two runs, one earned, in five effective-yet-erratic innings. The junior hit three batters, struck out seven and walked five.
Greg Wold (0-1) of Chatsworth (6-3) lasted only 2 2/3 innings in his first start, victimized by a lack of control and little support.
Trosper, an All-Frontier League outfielder last season, helped himself with three hits and five runs batted in.
"Not bad for our No. 3 pitcher," said Calabasas co-Coach Scott Drootin, who has coached Trosper on various teams since he was 13 but is only now using him on the mound. "We're trying to bring him along slow and not burn him out, but he wants the ball and he believes he can throw against anybody."
Trosper's heroics came after the game was delayed because the umpires failed to show. The teams agreed to play an official game with stand-in umpires--three volunteers from the stands--with Rudy Valentino, Westlake's freshman baseball coach, calling balls and strikes.
Valentino had barely established a strike zone before Calabasas (8-0) seized control. The Coyotes scored six runs in the second on doubles by Jared Sandler and Darin Reisman, four walks by Wold and a two-out error by Chatsworth shortstop Joe Tillmon to take a 6-1 lead.
Calabasas scored four runs in the fourth and two each in the fifth and sixth.