HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL PLAYOFFS : Trailing, 6-0, Narbonne Rallies for 17-6 Victory


As comeback victories go, it wasn't the most dramatic or most artistic, but Narbonne High will take its 17-6 rout of visiting Lincoln Wednesday afternoon and advance to the second round of the L.A. City Section 3-A Division baseball playoffs.

The Gauchos (18-8) will play Garfield, a 4-2 winner over Eagle Rock, Friday at Narbonne.

Narbonne fell behind, 6-0, in the top of the second inning. But with the help of 14 walks, four hit batters, two errors, three misplayed balls and a balk, the Gauchos were able to able to coast to the victory over Lincoln (7-12), the third-place finisher in the Northern League.

"That was a wild one wasn't it?" Narbonne Coach Nick Van Lue said after the two-hour 45-minute game that had six pitching changes, 17 walks and an umpire who was injured when hit in the stomach by a pitched ball.

Narbonne starting pitcher Craig Valenzuela struck out the side to open the game, but encountered trouble in the second inning when Lincoln scored six two-out runs.

But Van Lue gave his team a mid-inning pep talk.

"We got together and we talked about what got us here, and we came back like champs," Van Lue said.

Narbonne sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the second and 10 of them scored, helped by eight walks, three hits and an error.

After the 50-minute second inning, Narbonne added seven runs, including two runs driven in by Armando Cervantes, who finished with three runs batted in. "We didn't panic after the second inning," Cervantes said. "We had the little meeting and we all said 'Let's get some hits.' "

Cervantes, who relieved Valenzuela, pitched 2 1/3 innings to earn the decision. Cervantes (8-4) struck out four and was relieved by starter Valenzuela. Jason Donaldson finished the game. After the second inning, the three pitchers allowed only one hit.

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