Diaz Keeps Grant Guessing in Pitching Poly to 4-1 Win : Prep baseball: Senior throws four-hitter to give Parrots sole possession of the East Valley League lead.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Eric Diaz throws a fastball, slider, sinker and knuckleball. And Thursday, he threw them all at visiting Grant.

Diaz, a 5-foot-9 senior right-hander, tossed a four-hitter with four strikeouts and Poly posted a 4-1 victory that moved the Parrots (14-4, 11-2 in league play) into sole possession of first place in the East Valley League.

Poly's win completed a two-game sweep of the Lancers (12-6, 10-3) this week. It also earned Diaz a postgame chair ride from a band of jubilant teammates.

"That's a pretty good feeling," Diaz said of the escort from the mound.

Diaz (6-2) scattered four singles, walked one and did not allow consecutive batters to reach base. He retired the side in order three times while recording his third complete game.

"There were a few knucklers, but it was mostly the slider today," Diaz said. "Not too many high school players have the confidence to hit that many pitches. I tried to get them off balance. If I thought they were thinking curveball, I threw a slider. If they were thinking slider, I threw them a curve."

All Poly Coach Jerry Cord saw were strikes.

"He's really matured a great deal," Cord said of Diaz, who hurled a one-hitter against Sylmar in his most recent outing. "This one was picture perfect."

Frankie Medina's two-run double off Grant starter Ryan Messervier in the first inning put Poly ahead to stay. In the third, Jesus Perez singled, advanced to second on a balk and scored on a throwing error.

In the sixth, Poly's Francisco Flores led off with a double and Messervier yielded to Rusty Howard. Two outs later, Steve Chavez delivered a run-scoring single.

"No one thought we could win this league," said Medina, who was one for three. "Everyone thought it would be Grant."

Diaz needed only five pitches to wrap things up in the seventh, retiring Howard and Jorge Martinez on flyouts to center and Alberto Vasquez on a groundout.

"He threw strikes all day," Grant Coach Tom Lucero said of Diaz.

Grant scored in the sixth on Jim Guth's groundout that drove in Jose Velazquez.

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