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Michaels Has a Little Extra for Westlake

Baseball: He turns around bad day with run-scoring double in 11th inning to beat Thousand Oaks, 2-1.


THOUSAND OAKS — Designated hitter Garett Michaels of Westlake High made his first appearance against crosstown rival Thousand Oaks a memorable one Friday, doubling home the winning run in the 11th inning to give the Warriors a 2-1 Marmonte League victory.

Before his heroics, Michaels, a junior transfer from Oak Park, hardly fulfilled his role by grounding into a double play and taking called third strikes three times.

"Hey Michaels, you're our most valuable player," screamed a Thousand Oaks heckler as the downcast Michaels trudged to the dugout after his fourth at-bat.

"I just couldn't pull the trigger," Michaels said. "But that last time I was gonna go up there hacking."

With one out in the Westlake 11th, Scott Dragicevich walked and stole second. Michaels' two-out double to the right-center field fence scored Dragicevich with the winning run.

Westlake (8-6, 2-2 in league play) was a preseason favorite to win the league title while Thousand Oaks was seen as a possible playoff team after missing the postseason in 1997.

Westlake has struggled this season and the Lancers (13-4-1, 4-1-1) have been a surprise, but the Warriors defeated their rivals for the fourth consecutive time.

"We were getting on the bus today and the guys were telling me that we never lose to Thousand Oaks," Michaels said. "I told myself that when I came up [in the 11th]."

The game, seemingly attended by every Marmonte League player not enrolled in the two competing schools, was a scoreless duel for five innings.

Thousand Oaks' Chris Cordeiro, pressed into service when ace Matt Rogers came up with a tender arm, did not surrender a hit or a run until the sixth, when Brian Bladen gave Westlake a 1-0 lead by singling home Michael Nickeas.

Cordeiro was relieved by Tracy Goebel (3-1) to start the seventh.

Westlake's Jeff Boyle allowed three hits and no runs through six innings.

Boyle surrendered a leadoff double to Kevin Mitchell in the seventh. Mitchell took third on a bunt single by Jay Severns and scored when Jessie Siebers grounded into a double play.

Kevin Howard (2-0) relieved Boyle to start the eighth and allowed one hit in four innings.

In the ninth, Howard escaped a bases-loaded, two-out jam by striking out Jeremy Marrs. In the 11th, he issued a leadoff walk to David Perry, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. A strikeout and a groundout ended the game.

"I was proud of the way we played but we had some chances to put the game away and didn't," Thousand Oaks Coach Bill Sizemore said. "We missed signs and didn't execute and those things will come back to bite you in the rear end every time."

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