With two outs, two strikes and his team down by two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Ronnie Galosic hit an inside curveball over the left-field fence for a dramatic three-run home run that gave San Pedro a 10-9 victory over San Fernando in a City Section Division I playoff opener Wednesday.
"I'm still in shock," Galosic said afterward.
So were fans, players and coaches.
"Wasn't that something?" San Pedro Coach Bob Ramirez said.
It was a nearly four-hour game that produced many pressure-filled moments, but Galosic came through with the game-winner off San Fernando reliever David Armas.
Bedlam erupted at San Pedro as it finally became clear the ball went over the fence. When Galosic reached home plate, he was mobbed by teammates.
"It's the greatest feeling in the world, everyone jumping on me," he said.
San Pedro (22-5), seeded No. 5, will play No. 4 Arleta on Friday at College of the Canyons in a quarterfinal game. San Fernando finishes 16-11 and probably wonders how it lost.
The No. 12-seeded Tigers did everything required to pull off the upset. They knocked out San Pedro ace Jonathon Mata with a five-run fifth inning to take a 6-1 lead. James An had a two-run double and David Garcia had a two-run single.
Left-hander David Lira, using an effective curveball, was in control. But suddenly, his curveball stopped being called for strikes, and the Pirates scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to close to 6-5, getting a two-run double from pinch-hitter Rene Martinez.
Lira was pulled in the sixth in favor of Armas, and San Pedro took a 7-6 lead on Chris Costa's RBI single. Galosic relieved Mata and seemed to tire. San Fernando tied the game in the top of the seventh on a Galosic bases-loaded walk.
In the bottom of the eighth, San Pedro was on the verge of victory. The Pirates had the bases loaded with one out when Danny Matienzo hit a line drive to center fielder Erik Guerrero, who caught the ball and then doubled up the runner at second base to end the inning.
San Fernando broke through in the top of the ninth with two runs, one coming home on a passed ball and the other on Garcia's RBI single.
In the bottom of the ninth, San Pedro's David Carillo led off with a single. After a strikeout, Nathan Etheridge singled. Armas struck out the next batter, bringing up Galosic, the quarterback for San Pedro's football team. The count reached 2-and-2.
"I had a good feeling he was going to come inside, and I could turn on it, so I gave it all my might," Galosic said. "It was all excitement and craziness. This tops everything."