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Chatsworth Wins City Title, 7-1

June 09, 2004|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

Fifty straight victories, two consecutive City Section titles and No. 1 atop its nameplate for at least another year.

Those were the numbers the Chatsworth High baseball team was chasing heading into the City Championship Division final Tuesday night against San Pedro at Dodger Stadium.

And Jason Dominguez made sure the Chancellors finished there.

Dominguez, a senior right-hander, threw a five-hitter to defeat San Pedro, 7-1, before an estimated crowd of 3,500.

Dominguez (13-0) was a model of efficiency through the first six innings, throwing only 74 pitches and extending the count to three balls only three times. He began to tire in the seventh, issuing his first two walks and giving up two hits before ending the game on his 36th pitch of the inning.

"I ran out of gas in the seventh," he said. "I told myself, 'Throw strikes so we can go home.' "

Chatsworth, meanwhile, took advantage of San Pedro's shaky pitching and errant fielding to take a commanding early lead.

The top-seeded Chancellors (35-0) scored a run in the first and four in the second, benefiting from a walk, a balk, two hit batters and two errors.

Chatsworth's defense was also up to the task, settling in to make several nice plays after committing an error on the second play of the game. Dominguez was one of the busiest defenders, totaling four assists and two putouts through the first five innings.

Before the seventh, second-seeded San Pedro (31-4) threatened only in the top of the first, putting runners on second and third with two out before Joe Espana grounded out to first.

The Chancellors, who came in sporting the state's longest win streak and ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today and Baseball America, knocked San Pedro starter Matt Kretzschmar (11-1) from the game after four outs.

"We were a different team tonight," said Chatsworth Coach Tom Meusborn, who watched his team rally for its previous two playoff victories. "We did a better job out of the chute."

Willie Cabrera walked to open the first and scored on Thomas Cassidy's two-out single. Oliver Padre was hit by a pitch to open the second, was sacrificed to second and appeared to run himself into an out after a comebacker to Kretzschmar.

But Kretzschmar, who was picked by Milwaukee in the 22nd round of the amateur draft earlier in the day, threw in the dirt to third baseman Steve Taylor. The ball trickled away, allowing Padre to slide in safely. Mitul Patel, batting in the No. 9 spot, slapped a single to right field to bring in a run and knock Kretzschmar from the game after 33 pitches.

Cabrera greeted reliever Eric Thacker with an infield single to load the bases, Dominguez was hit by a pitch to bring in the third run of the game, and Matt Dominguez followed with a sharp single to right to make it 4-0. After getting a strikeout, Thacker balked to bring home Cabrera.

Cabrera added a two-run single in the sixth, putting his single-season state record hit total at 72.

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