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Champs! : South Gate Gets Monster Victory Over Narbonne, 9-3


When South Gate High won the City Section 3-A Division baseball championship two years ago, Coach Mike Ryan believed his team deserved it.

"In 1993, I thought we had the best team and we should have won it all," Ryan said.

However, after the Rams' 9-3 victory over Narbonne in the City 3-A championship Thursday at Dodger Stadium, Ryan wasn't convinced that his team was the best.

"I don't think we had the best team in the playoffs, but we played the best baseball at the right time," Ryan said. "This team gets down most of the time, but they always seem to battle back."

South Gate's Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde persona almost proved costly on Thursday. But fortunately for the Rams (26-6), they snapped back into form just in time.

"South Gate did us in in the seventh inning," Narbonne Coach Ruben Villar said.

With the score tied, 3-3, in the top of the inning, South Gate exploded for six runs on five hits.

The Rams took the lead, 4-3, on a sacrifice fly by Steve Toriz before blowing the game open: an RBI triple by Andy Silva; an RBI single by catcher Danny Mojarro; a double by Edward Dominguez; a walk by Rafael Esparza, and a bases-clearing double by Albert Melchor.

"The last inning, we started waiting on pitches that we knew we could drive," Mojarro said.

The Rams also took advantage of two Narbonne errors in the seventh inning. The Gauchos (19-10) committed six in the game.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Silva, who came in to close in the sixth inning, got Narbonne's Ryan Medrano to fly out before walking the next three batters.

However, William Dillon was picked off first base by Mojarro, then Silva struck out Arturo Gasca to end the game.

"We were in the game seven innings with only three hits," Villar said. "But it's hard to win like that."

South Gate nearly self-destructed in the bottom of the fifth inning, when the Rams committed three consecutive fielding errors to load the bases.

But Narbonne couldn't capitalize as Gasca grounded into a force out at home, Medina was tagged out at home on a busted squeeze play and Michael Giacomi popped up to end the threat.

"This victory was sweeter [than in 1993] because I'm a senior and had a lot to do with [us winning]," Silva said.

Silva was 2 for 4 and made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch in the second inning that prevented a run from scoring.

"Silva played an outstanding game," Ryan said. "He pitched, made a great catch and had a good day at the plate."

Silva (4-2) also got the win.

Medrano, who was 1 for 4 with two RBIs, gave Narbonne its last lead at, 3-2 with a single to left field in the second inning. Esparza, who was 1 for 2, tied the game, 3-3, with a single in the sixth inning.

Records: South Gate 26-6; Narbonne (19-10)

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