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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Chatsworth Hits After Sylmar Miss

High school baseball: Chancellors score five runs after two-out error and win Red Division title, 8-5.

March 11, 2001|STEVE GALLUZZO | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

REDONDO BEACH — It's not like the Chatsworth High baseball team can't be defeated. You just have to play a near-perfect game to do it.

Sylmar was doing that for four innings against the defending champion of the Westside tournament.

But a mistake gave the Chancellors an extra at-bat and Chatsworth capitalized with five runs, then held on for an 8-5 victory in the Red Division championship game of the Westside tournament Saturday at Redondo Union High.

Chatsworth trailed, 4-3, in the top of the fifth inning and started its two-out rally when Brian Lee drew a walk and stole second base.

George Spadier followed with a ground-rule double into the right-field corner that scored Lee to tie the game and set up the play that proved to be the turning point.

Jared Halpert's grounder went through the legs of second baseman Eric Johnson, allowing Spadier to score the go-ahead run and keep the rally alive.

"They made a mistake and we were able to capitalize," Chatsworth Coach Tom Meusborn said. "They should've gotten out of that inning tied. Instead, we're still up and we have a good hitter at the plate.

"Sylmar is an outstanding team and we have to take advantage of errors because they aren't going to make that many."

After Halpert stole second, Justin Cassel doubled off the center-field wall, scoring Halpert and chasing starter Mike Garcia.

Garcia (1-1) allowed seven runs on six hits with four strikeouts and four walks.

Reliever Marco Estrada was charged with a balk, sending Cassel to third. Ryan Barba flied to right field, but outfielder Sam Sandoval lost the ball in the sun and dropped it, allowing Cassel to score. After Danny Dominguez walked, Barba scored Chatsworth's eighth run on another balk by Estrada.

Freshman Jason Dominguez was one strike away from a complete game but was lifted after Stephen Shaw tripled to score Garcia. Sean Richards struck out Alex Chavez for the save.

Dominguez (2-0) allowed nine hits and struck out four with four walks. He also homered down the left-field line to lead off the third inning and pull the Chancellors to within 4-2.

"I was expecting to play [on the junior varsity] when the season started because we had our top three starters returning," Dominguez said. "But Coach brought me up and I'm just trying to contribute.

"I didn't have my best stuff and that showed in the first couple of innings. But our lineup is dangerous all the way through and I was confident we'd come back."

Lee homered to give Chatsworth a first-inning lead, but Sylmar answered in its half when Chavez scored on Jamie Mah's groundout.

Sylmar took a 4-1 lead in the second when Brian Tabura scored on a fielder's choice and Mah's single scored Johnson and Garcia.

Hart 14, Hawthorne 0--Bill Susdorf had three hits, three runs batted in and scored three runs for the Indians, who had 12 hits en route to winning the Blue Division championship.

After failing to score on three bases-loaded situations in their semifinal game the day before, Hart (5-0) loaded the bases four times against the Cougars (4-1) and scored each time.

"We stranded a lot of runners [Friday], so we wanted to make sure we capitalized in those situations [Saturday]," assistant coach Mike Halcovich said. "We played a good team, they just got a little thin in their pitching. That happens in these tournaments when you have to play five games in a week."

Chris Gagnon had three hits, two RBIs and scored twice, and John Curtis hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning.

Hart broke the game open in the fourth inning when Nic Enciso was awarded home on a balk and Susdorf drew a bases-loaded walk.

Chris Giordano doubled to score Mike Alvarado and Susdorf to increase the lead to 7-0.

Chris Burrows (2-0) allowed two hits in six innings and struck out three. Susdorf pitched the seventh and had two strikeouts.

"It was the right move, bringing Billy in," Burrows said. "I'm not disappointed that I didn't finish the game. We always bring Billy in for the last inning because he's a great closer.

"I didn't know much about those guys, but some of my teammates gave me suggestions as to how to pitch them. My change-up was working pretty good and my teammates backed me up great."

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