City Baseball THE SEMIFINALS : Chatsworth Is Upended by Kennedy
Kennedy High’s baseball team got the best of Chatsworth twice Friday afternoon.
The Golden Cougars, behind the four-hit pitching of Eric Evans and Sandy Sreden, upset the top-ranked Chancellors, 4-2, in the City 4-A semifinals at Cal State Northridge. Kennedy then got in a few extra verbal shots at the game’s end when the victory celebration nearly turned into a brawl.
“They didn’t think they could lose,” Kennedy shortstop Greg Synnott said. “Well, we stuffed it in their faces. I hope they have good seats at Dodger Stadium.”
Kennedy will have the best seats of all, in the dugout. The Golden Cougars, who have won nine straight, will battle Banning for the City 4-A championship. The Pilots defeated defending City champion Granada Hills, 12-11, Friday in the other semifinal.
The Golden Cougars, second-place finishers to Granada in the Mid-Valley League, took advantage of Bill Berry’s second-inning wildness to stop Chatsworth’s winning streak at 13 games.
Kevin Farlow started the top of the second inning by singling to left. Joey Yurosek then walked. After Doug Anderson moved the runners over with a ground out, Corey Holst walked.
Berry, the Chancellors’ top pitcher, then walked George Gonzalez to force in a run.
After Sam Chaidez struck out, Paul Plyler singled up the middle to make it 2-0. Berry then forced in another run by walking Bill Picketts.
“I was hyperventilating and my mouth was dry,” Berry said. “I was overthrowing. I settled down after that.”
Berry allowed just three hits after the second inning--five in the game--and just one more walk. But the second-inning damage was too much for Chatsworth.
Evans, who was pitching on two days’ rest, gave up the four Chatsworth hits in his four-plus innings of work. The junior right-hander (11-2) has won six games during Kennedy’s nine-game win streak.
Chatsworth reached Evans for single runs in the third and fourth innings.
Ted Wiesfuss led off the Chancellor third with a single. He stole second and went to third when catcher Chaidez threw the ball into center field. Glenn Stevenson’s ground out made it 3-1.
Chae-Ho Chong led off the fourth with a single and did exactly as Wiesfuss had done, steal second and go to third on Chaidez’s error. A Mike Ernst ground out made it 3-2.
The game and Chatsworth’s season was probably decided in the fifth inning. After Rob Campbell’s leadoff single, Kennedy Coach Dick Whitney replaced Evans with Sreden. Wiesfuss hit a long drive down the right-field line that would have scored Campbell. But plate umpire Bob Messina ruled it foul by inches.
Sreden then balked Campbell to second and walked Wiesfuss. Matt Mason was the next batter, but his bunt was fielded by Sreden, who threw the runner out at third. Wiesfuss then tried to steal third but was thrown out by Chaidez. Stevenson ended the inning by striking out.
Kennedy got another run in the sixth when Gonzalez had a two-out single off the glove of Ernst, the third baseman.
Yurosek, who began the inning with a single, scored to make it 4-2.
Sreden did not allow a hit in three innings, but he did make things interesting by walking five batters. Marc Pfeiffer led off the Chatsworth sixth with a walk. Chong then launced a long drive to center that Holst caught at the warning track with his back to the plate.
In the seventh, Sreden walked two more but got Pfeiffer on strikes to end the game.
That didn’t stop the action.
Several players nearly came to blows because of the actions of Kennedy’s Todd Davis, said a few Chatsworth players.
An article about Chatsworth’s team in Thursday’s edition of The Times was posted in Kennedy’s dugout.
“The article said that Chatsworth’s next game (before Friday) was at Dodger Stadium,” Whitney said. “That jacked us up.”
Actually, in the article, Chatsworth Coach Bob Lofrano complained that people were conceding the Chancellors a spot in the finals before they had even made it.
“Number 15 (Davis) handed one of our guys the article,” Lofrano said. “He shoved it in our faces. That’s pretty unclassy.
“It was low-class. But that is how Kennedy plays.”
When asked about the charges that he had passed the article along, Davis said: “I don’t know nothing about that.”
Said Berry: “That was bush. They beat us on the field, but they showed no class. We might have lost, but we lost with class.”
The Chancellors did lose, and the reason, according to Lofrano, was their silent bats.
“We just didn’t hit at all, all day long,” he said.
“We came through with the right plays at the right time,” Whitney said.