Baseball: A pitching performance to remember
David "Bulldog" Lira. That should be the new nickname for the San Fernando High left-hander who turned in one of the most memorable playoff pitching performances in City Section history on Wednesday night, throwing all 10 innings in the Tigers' 2-1 victory over Woodland Hills El Camino Real in a semifinal game at USC.
Lira won't get to pitch against his former school, Chatsworth, on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. He has exhausted the number of innings allowed to be pitched in a week, but he did everything to give his team the opportunity to play the Chancellors.
Not since Kurt Birkins threw 10 innings for El Camino Real in the 1998 City final has there been a pitcher who performed quite like Lira, who was in trouble early on but settled down to strike out 11 while giving up three hits. He had a no-hitter for five innings.
San Fernando Coach Armando Gomez said he had Lira for 141 pitches. Lira said he could have thrown more.
William Vazquez, who had three hits for San Fernando, scored in the top of the 10th after an RBI double by Jose Reyes to break the 1-1 tie
Lira won't get to pitch Saturday, but he said, "Now I just have to trust my team. I didn't get here by myself. They helped me out. Now it's time to put it in their hands."
Lira sure made his final pitching performance in high school unforgettable.
-- Eric Sondheimer