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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Westlake Throws Out Chaminade, 13-6

Baseball: Taillon's throw prolongs game, Warriors win in eighth.

March 05, 2000|ERIC SONDHEIMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WEST HILLS — With one dramatic throw from right field in the bottom of the seventh inning, Corey Taillon of Westlake High saved his team from defeat and became the hero of a 13-6 eight-inning victory over Chaminade on Saturday in the San Fernando Valley tournament.

With the score tied, 6-6, Chaminade had the winning run at third with two out in the seventh when sophomore Cody Haerther hit a line drive to right field for what appeared to be a game-winning single.

But Taillon, playing shallow because of the Eagles' short right-field fence, quickly fielded the ball and threw it to first baseman Luke Riordan, who caught it just before a sliding Haerther touched the bag.

Taillon excitedly ran off the field as pumped up teammates waited to give him high-fives in the dugout.

Westlake (2-0) scored seven runs in the eighth inning to break open the game.

It was fitting that Taillon would throw out a runner at first base from right field because he was the victim of the same ploy in the first inning. He was thrown out at first by Jim Milkovich after hitting the ball into right field.

"I didn't know what happened until everyone was screaming I had saved a run," Taillon said.

Westlake stranded 11 baserunners until finally getting bases-loaded singles from Riordan and sophomore Tyler Carr in the eighth.

Chaminade (1-1) rallied from a 6-3 deficit against Warrior ace Jesse Kozlowski.

Jonathan Higashi and Haerther hit home runs in the sixth inning off Kozlowski, and Milkovich drove in the tying run in the seventh on a ground out.

Jon Shepard and Allen Osborne each contributed three hits for the Warriors. Taillon had a two-run double in the eighth. Higashi went three for three and Erik Johnson hit his second home run of the season for Chaminade.

But Eagle pitchers walked seven and hit two batters. Four times Westlake players drew walks with the bases loaded.

The Eagles made four errors.

Taillon, a converted catcher, is a fiery 5-foot-10 senior who's always trying to inspire his teammates.

With his powerful throw, Taillon's actions spoke louder than anything he could say.

It was an important victory considering Westlake was rated No. 3 in The Times' preseason rankings and Chaminade was No. 7.

They even beat the Eagles without Tyler Adamczyk, their outstanding junior first baseman-pitcher who was busy Saturday fulfilling an obligation to sing in the school choir.

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