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Chatsworth plays little ball for big win, 2-1

June 03, 2007|Eric Sondheimer | Times Staff Writer

The most prolific hitting team in City Section baseball history showed Saturday at Dodger Stadium that it can win a pitchers' duel.

Chatsworth, a team that hit 74 home runs -- one short of a state record -- hadn't been limited to fewer than seven runs in almost a month. The conventional wisdom was, shut down the Chancellors' hitters and victory could be achieved.

Except senior right-hander Trent Jones intervened, throwing a six-hitter with seven strikeouts and one walk to improve to 15-0 and help the Chancellors to a 2-1 victory over West Valley League rival Reseda Cleveland in the Championship Division final.

"If you hold Chatsworth to two runs, you ought to win," said Cleveland left-hander Mickey Brodsky, who gave up six hits in five innings.

There were two controversial calls by umpires that influenced the game's outcome. The first came in the third inning. Chatsworth had runners on first and third. Coach Tom Meusborn had come out moments earlier to lobby first base umpire Louis Quevedo that Brodsky was committing a balk in his pickoff move to first.

Bobby Coyle broke from first, and Brodsky thought he had him picked off. But Quevedo ruled a balk, sending Mike Moustakas home from third to break a 1-1 tie.

"They haven't called that on me in four years, but it wasn't the umpire's fault," Brodsky said. "We had our chances."

The second call that irritated the Cavaliers (26-9) came on the final out of the game. Niko Garcia hit a grounder to second baseman Kasey Toven, whose throw to first baseman James Wharton was in the dirt. Wharton backhanded the ball and somehow kept his foot on the bag for the game's final out.

A TV replay showed it was the correct call, but Cleveland Coach Greg Venger argued that Quevedo should have asked for help.

Chatsworth (30-4), which won its seventh City title to tie Granada Hills Kennedy and Los Angeles Fremont for most in section history, had beaten Cleveland three times during the regular season, twice by 10-run mercy rules.

But Brodsky and Chris Reed held the Chancellors' Nos. 5 through 9 batters to only one hit, a key strategy for success against a team whose top of the order combined for 59 home runs.

Neither team committed an error, and Coyle came through in the third inning with an over-the-shoulder catch in right field to deprive the Cavaliers of a potential big inning. Miguel Castillon had three singles for Cleveland, whose run scored on a single by Brodsky in the third inning.

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