City 3-A Baseball Final : Venice Rolls to an 11-3 Win and Its Third Straight Title

Times Staff Writer

Venice High School, riding the momentum of its first three playoff games, in which it outscored its opponents by a margin of 38-4, had just eight hits but easily defeated Huntington Park, 11-3, Thursday at Dodger Stadium to win its third straight City 3-A baseball title.

The Gondoliers (27-5), behind the pitching of Armando Gomez, were slow to get the ball rolling as compared to previous outings, but they got enough in two big innings to easily get by the Spartans (17-7).

Designated hitter Chico Garcia opened the Venice fourth by lining a base hit to center field. Bob Tomaselli then struck out but reached first on a wild pitch by Huntington Park's George Romero, with Garcia taking second.

Garcia stole third, and John Barba walked to load the bases. Richard Simpson then singled home Garcia and Tomaselli to open up a 2-0 lead.

On a 3-and-2 count, third baseman Rolan Villasenor walked, prompting Huntington Park Coach Brian Ota to replace Romero with Eric Rodriguez with the bases loaded. But Rodriguez walked shortstop Eric Crawford to force in Barba.

Roger Serafin grounded into a force play, scoring Simpson, and William Galinato then closed out the scoring in the fourth with a single to to drive in Villasenor, giving Venice a 5-0 lead.

"It was a game for a couple innings," Ota said. "Then it got out of control."

It did, indeed. Three Huntington Park pitchers walked nine batters in the course of the game.

"You can't walk a good hitting team and expect to win," Ota said.

In in the sixth inning, Venice's Villasenor walked with one out and reached second on a passed ball. Serafin walked, putting runners on first and second.

Second baseman William Galinato then lined a base hit to center, scoring Villasenor while Serafin took second, and Ernie Soto pulled a single down the line to score Serafin. Garcia then reached base on an error by Huntington Park shortstop Rene Lopez, and Galinato scored to make it 8-1.

Tomaselli then walked to load the bases for Barba, who singled up the middle, scoring Garcia and Soto and making it 10-1. In the seventh, pinch-hitter Mike Alcala singled home Stoval to make it 11-1.

Huntington Park was able to manage just one run in the fourth and two in the seventh after Gomez left the game. The Spartans had only six hits in the game.

Gomez (14-1) was the reason for the poor hitting by Huntington Park, which managed just four hits and one unearned run off him.

"Basically I mixed my pitches," he said. "I had the curveball going, but my best was when I took something off my fastball, which confused their batters."

Gomez, who struck out five batters, was lifted in the seventh, and Huntington Park loaded the bases with no outs off Paul Nickevic. Nickevic was replaced by Scott Linden, who put an end to the threat.

Venice Coach Jeff Shimizu, though victorious, admitted that his team was not up to previous performances.

"We didn't hit the ball like we have in the playoffs," he said. "We had such a big win against Palisades (a 20-2 victory). . . . It was kind of a lackluster game for us."

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