Because of traffic and construction on I-5, it took Vista High’s baseball team 1 1/2 hours to get to Castle Park for its Madison tournament game against the Trojans. The bus ride back must have seemed much longer.
With two outs and two on in the bottom of the seventh, first baseman Ryan Tamburrino’s fielding error allowed Castle Park’s Raul Molina to score from second base with the tying run.
The next batter, Chris Morris popped to second to end the inning and the game. Because of darkness, the umpires called it with the score 3-3.
“That was a tough one, but we’ll get over it,” Vista Coach Butch Smith said.
Said Bob Korzep, Castle Park’s coach, “I feel terrible because I think we’re a better club than that. When you have the goods, you better produce. And I think we have the goods. The thing I did like is that we battled.”
Instead of its third consecutive victory to start the season, Vista of the Palomar League is 2-0-1. Castle Park (Metro Conference), a 1-0 loser to Mission Bay in last season’s Section 2-A championship game, is 1-1-1. Both teams have good pitching, appear strong and should be a threat in their respective leagues.
After three scoreless innings, Vista scored in the fourth. Leadoff hitter Billy Rounsifer hit a line-drive triple to right, and Brian Fleming lined up the middle to score Rounsifer.
Castle Park countered with a run in the bottom of the fourth on two singles by Joaquin Sosa and Morris.
In the top of the sixth, Vista pulled ahead, 3-1, on a two-out, two-run single to right by Joey Garcia. Against Castle Park starter Benji Gill, Garcia fouled off nine pitches and worked the count to three and two before hitting a flare that dropped in front of right fielder Hector Mejia.
“It was a fastball,” Garcia said. “I just tried to put the ball in play.”
An unearned in the bottom of the sixth pulled Castle Park to within 3-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Vista sophomore Rodney DeLeon replaced starter Herbie Weston and walked Joe Carrillo and Michael Morabe. Trojan pinch-hitter Jeff Oliveri then hit a two-out grounder to third. A good throw by Fleming was misplayed by Tamburrino, and Molina, pinch-running for Carrillo, raced home with the tying run.