Baseball: A City Section thriller to remember
The emotional highs and lows Saturday at Dodger Stadium for Chatsworth and El Camino Real was exhausting for the participants. El Camino Real was able to pull out a 5-4 win with two runs in the bottom of the ninth to win its seventh City Section Division I championship, but it was a game for the ages.
On a 3-and-2 count with two outs in the ninth, JJ Crane of El Camino Real was able to hit a ground ball to the left of third baseman Ernesto Prado and to the right of shortstop Jared Holley. The tying and winning runs raced home.
In the top of the ninth, a squeeze bunt by Scott Voets of Chatsworth had given the Chancellors their first lead of the game, 4-3. In the top of the seventh, Chatsworth came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game, 3-3.
Chris Nicholson had three hits for El Camino Real. Justin Vega of Chatsworth reached base five times. Center fielder Mitchell Dergazarian threw out Prado trying to score from second at home plate in the eighth. Jason Karkenny of Chatsworth threw nine innings. Justin Russell of El Camino Real threw the final four innings for the Conquistadores.
Several Chatsworth players were in tears afterward. El Camino Real players were smiling but also remembering how fortunate they were.
"We knew Chatsworth would come back," Crane said. "It was a matter of when."
The fact El Camino Real won a coin flip last month after tying in the West Valley League with Chatsworth proved decisive. By being the No. 1-seeded team, the Conquistadores got to be the home team on Saturday and thus had the final turn at the plate. And they found a way to win.
The game will be broadcast on Sunday at 9 a.m. on KLCS.
-- Eric Sondheimer