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Extra-Inning Effort Lifts Calvary Chapel

May 07, 1997|MIKE TERRY

Calvary Chapel does not have the most imposing overall record. But one thing is certain: If you don't beat the Eagles early in the game, you won't beat them late in the game.

Calvary Chapel has played six extra-inning games in the Olympic League and has won them all, including Tuesday's 5-4 eight-inning thriller over Brethren Christian at Southern California College.

John Tucker's single, which scored pinch-runner Aaron Lusk, was the third straight hit off Warrior right-hander Erik Jensen (4-4). Jensen pitched a complete game for Brethren Christian (16-6, 9-3), but failed to retire a batter in the eighth.

"This was a little special," Tucker said. "We knew they were the team we had to beat in league."

The victory positioned Calvary Chapel (13-8, 11-1), which leads Brethren Christian by two games with three to play, to win a second consecutive league championship outright.

If the teams finish the season tied for first, the Eagles--who beat Brethren Christian for the second time this season with one more meeting left Thursday--would get a higher playoff seeding because they own the first tie-breaker (head-to-head competition between the schools).

Calvary Chapel Coach Joe Walters was just happy his team survived falling behind 2-0 in the first. The Eagles overcame an RBI triple by Jensen (who also scored on a throwing error), two runners thrown out trying to steal, and being held to four hits by Jensen until the eighth.

"Somewhat of a typical game for us this year," Walters said. "But our guys never get down or give up."

The game was not the only key loss for the Warriors. Catcher Aaron Ireland--who has 10 homers and 35 RBIs--severely cut two fingers on his left hand Sunday at home. He needed 13 stitches and probably won't return until the playoffs, which begin May 20.

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