San Pedro, Banning Tie for Crown
With the Marine League baseball title at stake, San Pedro and Banning did not take chances Wednesday.
Both scored decisive victories on the last day of the regular season to end up as co-champions heading into the L.A. City 4-A playoffs, which start Wednesday.
San Pedro routed Narbonne, 15-2, at home to capture its second consecutive Marine title and the 15th in Coach Jerry Lovarov’s career, while Banning had an easy time with visiting Gardena, 10-0.
Both teams finished with 12-3 league records, but San Pedro will advance to the playoffs as the league’s No. 1 entry because it beat Banning in two of the teams’ three meetings.
“We’re on a roll,” said Lovarov, whose team brings a nine-game winning streak into the playoffs. The fourth-seeded Pirates (19-5) will play either Taft or El Camino Real at home in the first round. Taft and El Camino Real must play a tie breaker to determine the fourth-place team in the West Valley League.
Banning (16-8) will play a home game against Grant (12-10), the third-place team from the East Valley League.
Carson (14-8-1) and Gardena (8-13), the Marine League’s third- and fourth-place teams, open the playoffs on the road. Carson plays San Fernando (11-7), the Mid Valley League runner-up, and Gardena goes against top-seeded Chatsworth (23-1), the West Valley League champion.
In Wednesday’s victory, San Pedro got a big pitching effort from Joey Miller. The junior right-hander gave up five hits, struck out eight and walked one to improve to 4-0. He also collected two hits, drove in a run and stole two bases.
Four players drove in two runs apiece for the Pirates--Art Castaneda, Rod Garcia, Grant Beachley and Vidal Valle. Greg Ylauan also contributed to San Pedro’s 12-hit attack with a solo home run and a double.
At Banning, right-hander Chico Limas pitched a shutout and John Otte and Ricardo Bernal each had two hits to lead the Pilots.
Carson finished with a 10-5 league mark after collecting a forfeit over Locke. Gardena, once the Marine leader with a 4-0 mark, ended 7-8.