Kennedy Wins 4-A crown on a Homer in 7th
Kevin Farlow forever etched his name into the Kennedy High record books Thrusday night.
The sophomore third baseman belted a two-out, solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Golden Cougars a 10-9 win over the Pilots and the City 4-A baseball championship at Dodger Stadium.
The dramatic drive landed in the left-field box seats, a blast of about 340 feet.
“I was beginning to think it would never end,” Kennedy’s rookie coach, Dick Whitney, said. “I was just telling them, ‘Will somebody please hit it over the fence?’ ”
Farlow did just that, hitting a 2-1 pitch off Eddie Lopez to end one of the wildest games in City playoff history.
Through six and a half innings, the teams combined for 21 walks, 8 errors and 12 unearned runs. The crowd of 4,263 was on edge throughout most of the 3-hour, 16-minute game, as the Golden Cougars and Pilots tried to outdo each other in the charity department.
With the victory, Kennedy captured its second City title in five years. The Golden Cougars also defeated Banning in 1981 for the championship.
Kennedy finished the season at 18-5, winning its last 10 games. Banning, the third-place finisher in the Marine League, ended the year at 16-11.
Banning, which used six pitchers, had just one earned run in the game, that coming in the top of the sixth inning.
In that inning, Joe Pardo walked with one out. Mondo Ponce then singled Pardo to third.
Kennedy’s Sandy Sreden, who eventually earned the victory, got a second out when he picked Ponce off first. But Mike Ortiz collected an infield single to tie the game.
Banning, which scored eight unearned runs in the first four innings, helped Kennedy out immensely in the fifth inning.
Trailing 8-6, Kennedy scored three runs on no hits.
Joe Yurosek reached second when pitcher Ortiz threw his lead-off bunt away.
Doug Anderson then walked, one of 12 walks Banning pitchers gave up in the first five innings.
George Gonzalez then was issued a free pass by Ortiz, who walked seven in 3 innings.
Bill Picketts’ sacrifice fly got Kennedy to within one run.
Randy Sreden required just four pitches to walk and reload the bases.
Paul Plyler followed with, you guessed it, a walk.
Kennedy then forged a 9-8 lead when Robert Aceves, a new pitcher, walked Corey Holst.
If walks were the main problem for Banning, errors are what hurt Kennedy badly in the first half of the game.
Kennedy led 6-3 entering the top of the fourth inning, but fell apart, giving up five runs on just one Banning hit.
The lowlights for Kennedy went as follows:
Lead-off hitter John Smith reached on shortstop Greg Synnott’s second error of the game. Kenny Walker walked. After pitcher Eric Evans got the lead runner on a bunt by Phillip Armijo, he walked Aceves.
Danny Garcia then hit a grounder back to Evans, but his throw pulled the catcher, Sam Chaidez.
Evans, who entered the game with an 11-2 record, then walked Jose Diaz to make it 6-5 Kennedy.
Sandy Sreden replaced Evans and promptly gave up a two-run single to Pardo.
After Ponce walked, a force out by Ortiz made it 8-6. In the inning, Banning sent 10 men to the plate.
Evans, who entered the game with a 1.11 earned-run average, allowed eight runs, but none were earned.
Kennedy had a big inning of its own, exploding for six runs in the second inning. Five Banning walks were the major factor in the Golden Cougars sending 11 men to the plate.
After Synnott walked, Yurosek bunted to the pitcher Pardo, whose throw got past first base.
Anderson then walked to load the bases. On an 0-2 pitch, Gonzalez singled just inside the first-base line for two runs.
Picketts walked to reload the bases and prompt Banning Coach Dan Evans to bring in Ortiz to pitch.
Ortiz, a sophomore, induced Chaidez to ground into a double play, via the third-to-home-to-first route.
But Ortiz then walked Plyler to fill the bases. Holst followed with a grounder that took a bad hop and skipped past third baseman Diaz.
Two runs scored to make it 4-1 Kennedy. After a wild pitch, Farlow doubled just inside the third-base line to score two more runs.
At one point this season, Kennedy lost five of six Mid-Valley League games by making 28 errors.
The Golden Cougar miscues began right away Friday.
With two outs in the top of the first inning, Pardo singled to center and went to second on a passed ball. Ponce then hit a grounder to Synnott, whose throw went into the Pilot dugout.
The unearned run off Evans made it 1-0 Banning.
In the Banning third, second baseman Picketts threw away a grounder by Garcia. Diaz singled to left to score Garcia from second.
On the play, Diaz went all the way to third on a throwing error by the left fielder Yurosek.
One out later, Ponce singled up the middle to make it 6-3 Kennedy.