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It's South Gate Again at the Finish

Prep baseball: Rams score three runs in the final inning in 3-2 victory over Narbonne for second consecutive 3-A title.

May 30, 1996|GEORGE DOHRMANN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

South Gate High had come from behind throughout the City Section Division 3-A playoffs, and the Rams must have decided at some point during the final Wednesday at Dodger Stadium not to change the plot.

Trailing by two entering the final inning, South Gate scored three times and won its second consecutive championship, 3-2, over Harbor City Narbonne.

In their last two playoff games, victories over Fremont and Hamilton, the Rams won in the seventh inning, and Wednesday's final act was a game-winning, two-run double by Albert Melchor.

"I don't have an answer for it," South Gate Coach Mike Ryan said of his team's late-inning habits. "I've learned not to give up on these guys."

Ryan may have been the only one after Narbonne (16-9) scored runs in the first and sixth innings, and Gaucho pitcher John Medina dominated the Rams (25-7) from the start. The right-hander gave up only seven hits and one walk before the final inning.

To start the seventh, Medina walked Sergio Corona, and then after getting Santiago Sanchez to ground into a fielder's choice, walked pinch-hitter Jesse Garcia.

Omar Mayen, South Gate's No. 9 hitter, then doubled in front of a diving Chris Campos in right field, scoring pinch-runner Jimmy Ozaeta, and cutting the lead to 2-1. Then, with runners on second and third, Medina hung a changeup, and Melchor drove it up the middle.

Narbonne center fielder Mike Casey fielded the ball cleanly, and fired it toward home, but the ball dribbled through the legs of Gaucho catcher Fernando Hernandez as Mayen scored.

Kennedy 5, Sun Valley Poly 4--Overcoming a 3-1 deficit, Kennedy (31-3) scored four runs in the fifth inning and got a complete game from pitcher Derek Morse in beating Poly to win its second consecutive 4-A title.

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