In 1985, Darren Beer was the Pacific League player of the year as a pitcher at Crescenta Valley High. Thirty-three years later, he was standing in the dugout on Tuesday night at Arcadia High relaying signs to the catcher while his son, Trevor, stood on the mound in his blue Falcons uniform, trying to end the Apaches' 23-game winning streak.
Beer, a senior left-hander headed to UC Santa Barbara, always was going to be the pitcher No. 1-ranked Arcadia needed to fear most in its bid for an unbeaten regular season. Wins over Santa Ana Mater Dei, El Camino Real, San Dimas, Etiwanda and Chatsworth were nice, but everyone knew it would come down to finding a way to defeat Beer under the lights in the final week.
Father and son had a plan. "They're a disciplined team," Trevor said. "It was a matter of not giving in."
Beer made 116 pitches and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings before Luke Hempel had to get the game's final out for a 2-1 Crescenta Valley victory. And what a final out it was.
Arcadia had runners on first and second with two outs after Dustin Allen drew a walk on a 12-pitch at-bat. Jeffrey Castillo hit a ground ball to shortstop JD Schaffer. Allen beat the throw to second. Second baseman Vincent Parrott saw Jacob Lopez trying to score the tying run and fired the ball to catcher Brian Ghattas, who tagged out Lopez to end the game.
"They're a well-coached team," the younger Beer said when asked how Arcadia was able to win 23 consecutive games.
"They play hard. They play all 21 outs to the best of their ability."
But it was the Falcons (22-4, 13-0) taking a one-game lead in the Pacific League by scoring two runs in the second inning. Lorenzo Respicio had an RBI single on a 3-and-2 count and Isaac Sung hit a sacrifice fly on another 3-2 count off losing pitcher Caden Ross.