Jason Cohen hit a pop-fly single in the bottom of the 12th inning to bring in the winning run as Woodland Hills West defeated Encino-Crespi, 5-4, Thursday in a second-round American Legion District 20 playoff game at Birmingham High.
The win improved Woodland Hills' record to 21-3. Encino dropped to 14-10.
Woodland Hills will play the winner of the game between Panorama City and Newhall-Saugus at 4 p.m. today at Birmingham High. Panorama City was leading, 5-4, after eight innings when play was suspended because of darkness. The game will be resumed at 10 a.m. today at Birmingham.
"We had things going for us but then we let it go," Encino-Crespi Coach Scott Muckey said. "They were down, we thought we had a chance to kick them while they were down."
With the score tied, 2-2, in the top of the seventh, Woodland Hills replaced starter Jason Mitchell with Sean Boldt. Encino promptly scored two runs on a single by Kevin Walsh that brought home Scott Barton and Rick Marino.
But Woodland Hills rallied in the bottom of the seventh to tie the score when Mitchell doubled with two out to score Bobby Kim and Jeff Marks.
After a scoreless eighth inning, tempers started to flare. Encino's Dan Carroll hit leadoff batter Kim with a pitch but the umpire said that Kim made no attempt to avoid the pitch and refused to award him first base. After a protracted argument, Kim popped out. Ricky Banuelos followed with an infield pop out and was ejected from the game for throwing his bat.
In the 11th, Woodland Hills had a chance to win, loading the bases with two out, but Marks flew out to end the threat.
Boldt, who had settled down after his rocky start, continued to shut down Encino and give Woodland Hills opportunities. And in the 12th, Woodland Hills finally cashed in.
Carl McFadden singled with one out and was replaced by pinch-runner Chris Castillo, who stole second. With two out, Ryan McGuire singled to advance Castillo to third and Del Marine walked to load the bases for Cohen.
Encino-Crespi will play Woodland Hills East today at 1 p.m. at Pierce College.