El Segundo High School pitcher Rick Clark weathered two tough innings Saturday to lead the Eagles to the Southern Section 2-A Division baseball title with a 7-4 victory over San Marino at Dodger Stadium.
With El Segundo leading, 7-2, in the sixth inning, San Marino loaded the bases with two outs. Clark had a full count on pinch-hitter Craig Milias when Coach John Stevenson went to the mound to calm his pitcher. Clark then ended the inning by striking out Milias.
San Marino (22-4) went on the attack again in the seventh, putting runners on second and third with two outs.
Clark had a full count against catcher Robbie Santos before striking him out to end the threat.
"I threw a fastball, fastball, then a curve and I got him," Clark said.
Stevenson said reliever Rob Croxall was ready from the first inning when the Titans took a 1-0 lead on a run-scoring double by Blair Slattery, the first of two for the third baseman.
"But I'm not one to bounce from one pitcher to the next," said Stevenson, who got his sixth title in 30 years at El Segundo.
For good reason. Clark, a senior right-hander, entered the game with a 9-0 record and finished the season undefeated.
But he got plenty of help from the El Segundo offense and four San Marino errors, two of which resulted in runs.
"Good teams take advantage of your mistakes," said Mickey McNamee, the Titan coach.
El Segundo (26-5) took the lead for good by scoring three times in the second inning.
After loading the bases, Mark Lewis drove in Chris Lane, who had reached on Slattery's error, to tie the score. Jeremy Carr then scored Pat Llamas, and Brett Newell stole home when Carr was caught in a rundown while stealing second.