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Chatsworth defeats San Fernando in thriller, 4-3

Ricky Obando ends the game on a run-scoring single in the seventh to put the Chancellors in the City Section championship game.

May 30, 2012|Eric Sondheimer

Fans were on their feet. The crowd noise was loud like a football game. Players were taking deep breaths trying to stay calm. A trip to Dodger Stadium was at stake.

No. 3-seeded San Fernando and No. 2-seeded Chatsworth kept trying to find a way to win a City Section Division I semifinal Wednesday at USC. By the seventh inning, the drama moved up a notch.

San Fernando tied the score with two runs in the top of the seventh on an RBI triple by Carlos Robles and a sacrifice fly by Kevin Martinez. But then Ricky Obando ended the game for Chatsworth in the bottom of the seventh, lining a single to left just over the glove of shortstop Isaac Dominguez on a two-out, two-strike pitch to score Justin Vega from second base for a 4-3 victory.

San Fernando (28-6) had runners on base in every inning but struggled getting the clutch hit. Chatsworth junior relief pitchers Nick Milone and Jason Karkenny, junior varsity players last season, came through in pressure-filled situations.

"Every inning there was pressure on our defense and our pitching to perform," Coach Tom Meusborn said. "Our guys bent a little, but they didn't break."

Chris DeVito had three hits for the Chancellors (28-4-1), who will be seeking their 10th City championship on Saturday at 1 p.m. against neighborhood rival Woodland Hills El Camino Real (21-12).

The Conquistadores, seeded No. 1 and co-West Valley League champs, beat San Pedro, 2-1, in the other semifinal at USC. San Pedro had won 19 consecutive games and was the last non-San Fernando Valley team to win a City title in 1992.

Junior left-hander Luke Laurita struck out four, walked two and gave up five hits. He struck out John Iacono with the tying run on first to end the game in a tension-filled seventh that saw teammates come to the mound several times.

"I was getting tired," Laurita said. "I made 111 pitches. They came in to calm me and let me know they had my back."

Hayden Rappoport and Mason Novak contributed RBI singles in the second and third innings for El Camino Real. San Pedro's Richard Samudio had an RBI triple in the fourth.

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