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HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL

Angel Rodriguez comes up big for Chatsworth in 4-0 win over El Camino Real

The senior pitches a three-hitter and earns the decision against Jose Cardona, the reigning City Section player of the year.

May 04, 2011|Eric Sondheimer

Pitcher Jose Cardona, the reigning City Section player of the year from Woodland Hills El Camino Real, doesn't lose very often, and that made what senior Angel Rodriguez of Chatsworth pulled off on Wednesday a breakthrough performance.

Rodriguez threw a three-hitter and struck out nine to outduel Cardona and lead host Chatsworth to a 4-0 victory over El Camino Real that gave the Chancellors a one-game lead in the West Valley League race.

"He's our No. 1 guy," Chatsworth Coach Tom Meusborn said. "We definitely like what we saw."

For nearly two seasons, Chatsworth (16-5, 6-1) has been searching for a reliable No. 1 pitcher to win showdown games against top opponents. The Chancellors didn't have one last season, when they lost in the City Section semifinals to San Pedro. Rodriguez started that game.

This season, Rodriguez was 5-1 with a 0.78 earned-run average but he hadn't proven himself in a pressure-filled game like Wednesday's against Cardona.

Last week, he started in a loss to Woodland Hills Taft. This time, he stayed ahead in the count, and the Chancellors played strong defense behind him.

Meanwhile, El Camino Real (15-12, 5-2) gave up two unearned runs in the second inning, and its outfielders left Coach Josh Lienhard disappointed at their lack of aggressiveness; almost half of the 10 singles Chatsworth collected were fly balls that fell in.

Aaron Brown had an RBI single in the second. Ricky Obando and Brady Conlan had RBI singles in the sixth.

Cardona struck out six. He suffered cramps in the sixth inning.

The two schools play again Friday at El Camino Real.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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