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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Tie Doesn't Fit on Chaminade

Mission: Eagles threatening when game with Notre Dame is halted at 6-6 by darkness.

March 18, 1998|PETER YOON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WEST HILLS — There's no tying in baseball . . . is there?

Apparently, there is if you play high school games before daylight savings time kicks in.

Notre Dame High and Chaminade played to a controversial 6-6 tie Tuesday in a Mission League opener at Chaminade in the latest example of what baseball purists would cite as ludicrous: a game ending without a winner.

Umpires ended the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, claiming it was too dark to continue, with Chaminade runners at first and second with one out.

The Eagles were furious with the timing.

"I'm not happy with how they called the game," Chaminade Coach Scott Drootin said.

"I thought it was too dark to start the eighth, but if you're going to do it you have got to go all the way. [The umpires] gave them a chance to win it and didn't give us the same chance."

Had Notre Dame (3-2-1) scored in the top of the eighth, it would not have counted unless the bottom of the inning was completed.

Notre Dame Coach Tom Dill came onto the field and complained to umpires about the lack of light after second baseman Jon Brewster bobbled Matt Chirba's ground ball for an error on the last play of the game.

"To play such a good game and lose because my infielders can't see the ball, that's not the way I want to lose this game," Dill said.

"It was difficult to go out there in that situation, but I owe it to my guys to do what's best for the team."

It was the third tie in a significant high school game in the region in the last week.

Crespi tied West Torrance, 6-6, in the semifinals of the El Segundo tournament on Thursday and Van Nuys tied Poly, 2-2, in a Valley Pac-8 opener Monday.

Tie games are resumed only at the end of the season if they have a bearing on the outcome of a league championship.

Dill, who has coached in the Mission League since 1993, could not remember a tie in a league game.

Chaminade (3-1-1) led, 6-4, entering the seventh, but Notre Dame scored twice on an error by second baseman Chris Martinez, a walk, a run-scoring single by John Puccinelli and a run-scoring groundout by Alec Moss.

Martinez, who had two hits and two runs batted in, sparked a four-run first inning for the Eagles with a leadoff home run to right field.

Martinez, who has five home runs this season, added a run-scoring double in the sixth.

Chirba had two singles and two RBIs.

Puccinelli, Phil Polanco and Ryan Stonerock each had two hits for Notre Dame.

Stonerock and Moss each had two RBIs.

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