Grant Wins on Home Run by Peterson
The four-hit pitching of Reseda High sophomore Steve Brody almost upstaged Grant ace Rodney Beck and his supporting cast of heavy hitters Friday.
For Brody, three hits were enough but four were too many, as the final one gave Grant a 2-1 victory over Reseda in a City 4-A baseball playoff.
Jason Peterson jumped on a waist-high fastball to hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning as Grant (17-5) moved into the quarterfinals Tuesday at home against Birmingham, which defeated Gardena, 2-1.
Beck, who began the game 9-1 with 108 strikeouts and a 1.78 earned run average, allowed five hits and struck out six. Earlier in the game he made the same mistake Brody did, giving up a solo home run to Tony Gilmore on a breaking ball.
Beck bore down and struck out his next batter Mike Vanacore, then forced Deo DelMundo to ground out. But by the sixth, a cold sweat had set in.
“I wasn’t worried about it at first when the guy hit the home run,” Beck said. “We hadn’t been shut out all season, so I figured we’d get at least one run.
“But I started to get worried in the fifth and sixth inning. That guy Brody was throwing a good game. I can’t take anything away from him.”
With two outs in the sixth, Reseda Coach Mike Stone made the decision to walk Beck and pitch to Peterson. Peterson, who flied out deep to center in his previous at-bat, thought the choice was a mistake.
“Yeah, a big mistake,” Peterson said. “I almost got it the first time. The second one, as soon as I hit it, I knew it was out.”