Prep Baseball : SOUTHERN SECTION : Antelope, Canyon in a 2-2 Tie

Times Staff Writer

For Canyon High baseball Coach Wally Hammond, it was "like kissing your mother-in-law."

For Antelope Valley pitcher Kevin Appier it was a game of "mixed feelings."

For the record, it was a draw.

The Cowboys and the Antelopes went 10 innings Friday afternoon at Canyon and still couldn't decide the outcome.

When the umpires called the game at 6:13 p.m. because of darkness, the score stood at 2-2.

And Antelope Valley's record stood at 7-0-1 and 2-0-1 in the Golden League.

Canyon, which scored the game-tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning, is 3-4-1 overall and 1-1-1 in league.

It is perhaps fitting that the game ended in a tie. Both teams missed several opportunities to score and both received strong pitching performances.

Appier went the distance for the Antelopes, allowing just seven hits, while striking out five and walking three.

"I don't know how much longer I could have gone," said Appier, whose longest stint previously had been eight innings. "I didn't feel too bad. My arm was still loose."

The duo of Freddy Rivera and Jeff Hairell nearly matched Appier.

Rivera hurled the first seven innings for Canyon, giving up the two runs and nine hits. He also struck out five and walked three.

Hairell did a fine job in relief, not allowing a hit over three innings, while striking out four.

"We got good pitching but we just didn't hit the ball," Hammond said. "We squandered five scoring opportunities."

The Cowboys especially blew chances late in the game.

With Canyon trailing 2-1, Dave Lederer led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a single on an 0-2 pitch.

Greg Smith ran for Lederer and stole second. He advanced to third on a passed ball.

Smith scored on a one-out single by Greg Carr, who then beat out a throw to second on a bunt by Kyle Fister.

After Jeff Flesher struck out, Ray Palagyi was safe on a error by first baseman Tony Sianez. With the bases loaded, Appier induced Jay Kerschner to pop up.

In the ninth inning, Canyon had men at first and third with two outs but Palagyi grounded out.

Finally, in the 10th with a man at third, Lederer struck out to end the game.

Antelope Valley had a run taken away in the sixth when the umpires ruled that Rick Cage left third base too early on a sacrifice fly.

In the seventh inning, the Antelopes loaded the bases with two outs but Rob Newkirk grounded out.

"Somebody is going to beat them," Hammond said. "I don't know who, but somebody will."

"We are," Canyon center fielder Joe Zacharia shouted from the dugout. "Put that in the paper."

For now, the only thing the paper will show is a tie.

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