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Canyons Upsets Saddleback in 12th

May 17, 1997

MISSION VIEJO — The home-field advantage that benefited Saddleback all season vanished Friday when the Gauchos were upset in the Southern California baseball playoffs by Canyons, 9-8, in 12 innings.

Canyons (34-13) scored its last four runs on home runs and Saddleback, seeded second in Southern California, had its last 12 batters retired in order.

The game-winning hit came when Hiram Damwijk opened the 12th inning with a home run just over the left-field fence off reliever Kyle Kane for Canyons, seeded eighth.

Saddleback left fielder Brian Griffin raced to the fence, leaped and appeared to have caught the ball. But when he looked in his glove, it was empty.

It was the second run Kane (2-1) has given up this year. The other also was a home run.

Saddleback (35-9) falls into the elimination round and must beat Grossmont at 10 a.m. today at Orange Coast College.

Grossmont lost to Cuesta, 12-9, Friday.

Cuesta and Canyons meet at 11 a.m. today at Saddleback. The winner moves on to Sunday's title game and the loser plays the winner of Saddleback-Grossmont game at 3 p.m. at Saddleback.

Saddleback broke a 5-5 tie with three runs in the eighth and appeared headed toward victory. Corrie Willkie started the rally in the seventh by hitting his sixth home run to put Saddleback ahead, 6-5.

Saddleback's Kirk Bolling singled, stole second and scored on a single by Greg Ferrell. Ferrell then stole second and scored on Jason Radwan's single to make it 8-5.

Bolling also had a three-run homer, his 13th.

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