Simi Valley High's baseball team trailed rival Royal by a run entering the seventh inning. The Pioneer batters had rarely made good contact and looked tired and out of sync.
Simi Valley had the Highlanders just where it wanted them.
The Pioneers exploded for seven runs in the inning on six hits, including two home runs, and romped to a 9-4 Marmonte League victory at Royal.
"It's a seven-inning game and unfortunately, we played well for only six innings," Royal Coach Mike McCurdy said.
Many of Simi Valley's opponents come away feeling unfortunate. The Pioneers (17-5, 7-1 in league play) have won six games in their last at-bat.
"The late-inning magic is prevalent on our club," Coach Mike Scyphers said.
Simi Valley's Scott Sharts hit two home runs, including a two-run shot to center in the seventh that traveled an estimated 420 feet. Sharts has 14 home runs this season and is two shy of the Southern Section single-season record. His 31 career home runs are a Southern Section record.
Greg Gerber, who homered in the fourth to give Simi Valley a 1-0 lead, started the seventh with a walk. After a wild pitch, Marcus Lockwood doubled Gerber home and sophomore Jeff Sommers homered to give the Pioneers a 4-3 lead.
Royal (9-12, 1-7), which has lost nine games in a row since defeating Simi Valley in the first round of league play, took a 3-1 lead in the fifth on a two-run double by David Bernstein and an RBI groundout.