Baseball: Henry Baker pitches Agoura to Marmonte League championship
Henry Baker, the standout left-handed pitcher from Agoura High who wears uniform No. 32 in honor of Sandy Koufax (“It’s the Jewish lefty thing _ you got to represent”), did all he could to deliver a Marmonte League championship on Tuesday.
Baker struck out nine, walked one and allowed four hits in Agoura’s 2-1 victory over Simi Valley, allowing the Chargers (20-9, 11-3) to repeat as league champs.
“It was everything we needed from our ace pitcher,” catcher Albee Weiss said.
It was a strange last eight days for everyone involved, but Baker, in particular, was feeling “extraterrestrial sources” at work, as he put it.
Last Wednesday, he threw five innings and struck out 11 when Agoura couldn’t hold onto a 2-0 lead and lost to Simi Valley, 3-2. He pitched even though he was still mourning the death the previous day of his grandfather.
On Friday, Agoura was scheduled to play Simi Valley for the league title and played two innings before smoke from the Camarillo Springs brush fire forced the game to be postponed.
On Monday, rain forced another postponement, and that allowed Agoura to come back with Baker on the mound.
“To face that kid twice in five days . . . he’s pretty darn good,” Simi Valley Coach Matt La Belle said.
Said Baker: “It was pretty crazy. It was definitely an abnormal way to come into a game.”
He ended up striking out 20 Simi Valley batters in 12 innings over the last two games.
Agoura scored both of its runs in the first inning off Simi Valley’s Spencer Dubaich. Tyler Cohen and Weiss each had RBI singles. Wyatt Hogan hit a home run off Baker in the second, his eighth of the season. And that was it for the scoring.
Simi Valley (14-13, 9-5) finishes in a three-way tie for second with Moorpark and Thousand Oaks. Via tiebreaking rules, Moorpark will be the No. 2 team for the playoffs. If Calabasas defeats Royal on Wednesday, Simi Valley will be No. 3 and Thousand Oaks No. 4. If Royal wins, Thousand Oaks will be No. 3 and Simi Valley No. 4.
Moorpark defeated Thousand Oaks, 1-0, on Tuesday. Sean Barry (10-1) struck out eight and allowed two hits.