Baseball: San Fernando rallies to defeat Kennedy
In a move that will be discussed for years, Granada Hills Kennedy decided to take a phantom infield practice before its City Section quarterfinal playoff game against San Fernando. The players performed with an imaginary ball, trying to have fun and stay loose.
But the Golden Cougars' defense fell apart when a real ball was used in the sixth inning, with two errors opening the door for San Fernando to rally for three runs and come away with a 5-3 victory and earn a trip to the semifinals Wednesday against Woodland Hills El Camino Real at 6 p.m. at USC. Kennedy finished with four errors. Four of San Fernando's five runs were unearned.
Kevin Martinez delivered the big blow, a two-run double after consecutive infield errors on potential double-play balls left the bases loaded in the sixth, wiping out a 2-1 deficit. David Lira, who gave up two runs in the second inning, battled the rest of the way and pitched a complete game for the Tigers and handed a loss to Kennedy's Alberto Flores (9-3). Lira struck out eight.
David Garcia had three hits for San Fernando. James An had two run-scoring singles. William Vazquez had two doubles.
Defending champion El Camino Real rallied for a 6-5 victory over Narbonne. Chris Nicholson had a home run and three-run double for the Conquistadores while going three for four. Chris Ortega gave Narbonne a 3-0 first-inning lead with a three-run home run. El Camino Real will play San Fernando at USC.
Birmingham defeated Granada Hills, 3-2. Kevin Torres hit a two-run home run for the No. 12-seeded Patriots and also picked up the save. Pedro Santoyo threw six innings. Birmingham advances to a semifinal against top-seeded Chatsworth on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at USC. The Chancellors defeated Taft, 5-2. Aaron Brown had a two-run single and RBI double and struck out eight on the mound. Raul Camas hit a two-run home run. Steve Karkenny had two RBIs.
-- Eric Sondheimer