Kennedy Won Ugly on 14 Walks, 3 Errors
Earned runs, it seems, are relative.
At least, that was the impression made in Kennedy High’s 10-9 victory over Banning for the City 4-A baseball championship Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
Consider the scoring summary as evidence.
Eight of the nine Banning runs were unearned, as the Kennedy defense proved to be as solid as quicksand with five nearly fatal errors.
For Kennedy, the story was somewhat deceiving. Six of the Cougars’ runs were earned in the official summary.
But that depends on your definition of “earned.”
Which is where 14 walks--and the bottom of the fifth inning--become significant.
Kennedy rallied from an 8-6 deficit for three runs in the inning. One of the scores was definitely unearned when Bill Pickett’s sacrifice fly scored Joe Yurosek, who was aboard on a two-base error.
The tying and go-ahead runs, however, were the result of two of five walks given up by Banning in the inning.
After watching five pitchers surrender the 14 free bases, Banning Coach Dan Evans wasn’t sure Kennedy had earned anything.
“If we had made them hit the ball, I don’t think they would have had as many runs as they did,” Evans said.
There was no disputing the game-winner, though. Sophomore Kevin Farlow’s two-out, seventh-inning home run to left field off reliever Eddie Lopez earned Kennedy its second City championship in five years.
“He did his job” Evans said of Lopez. “He threw strikes. I don’t think it’s a bad thing for Lopez, but a good thing for the Kennedy kid.”
Earned or not, Kennedy Coack Dick Whitney will take the victory. He was disappointed with the sloppy nature of the game, but that didn’t tarnish the accomplishment.
“It wasn’t pretty for a City 4-A championship game, but we’ll take it any way we can,” Whitney said.
It was nice, he added, that his team’s defensive problems didn’t cost Kennedy the game and the City title.
“With the errors, it was really ridiculous,” he said. “I was disappointed that that kind of thing had to happen.
“The pitchers were making out pitches, so you hate to see that happen.’
Kennedy starter Eric Evans was relieved by winner Sandy Sreden one out into the fourth after Banning had struck for eight consecutive unearned runs.
A senior right-hander, Evans was the victim of his team’s defensive breakdowns.
And the problems began early. Greg Synnott botched a Mando Ponce ground ball in the first inning that allowed Banning’s Joe Pardo to score the game’s first run.
Two more Kennedy errors in the third and fourth innings brought seven more unearned Banning runs across.
In the end, however, it was one very earned run--Farlow’s homer--that made the difference.
“That’s a nice way to end the season for a 10th-grade kid,” Whitney said.
And it wasn’t bad--or pretty--for Kennedy either.