Ryan Hammonds hit a wind-aided solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday to lift University City to a 10-9 come-from-behind victory over La Jolla in a City Western League baseball game.
That is not to say Hammonds' homer was helped by the wind. The left-handed-hitting junior first baseman got it all, and the ball easily cleared the right field fence at University City.
Wind came into play one swing earlier, when Hammonds popped a 1-and-2 pitch into foul territory between home and first.
"It was a fairly windy day, and they just missed it," University City Coach Al LaMotte explained. "Under normal circumstances, it was a catchable ball."
The lucky break seemingly was University City's first this season.
The Centurions, who improved to 6-15, 2-6, entered Thursday's game having been outscored, 77-19 in seven league games dating back to Easter. La Jolla (11-12, 2-6) hasn't exactly been torrid, either, after opening the season with eight victories in 10 games.
Hammonds' homer capped a dramatic comeback that saw the Centurions rally from a 9-5 deficit after 2 1/2 innings.
Hammonds was three for four with four RBIs. Jay Parmenter drove in two runs in the sixth inning with a two-out single up the middle. Parmenter was the winning pitcher, running his record to 4-8. In two innings of relief, he struck out five of the seven batters he faced and walked one. Brady Bishop also helped the cause with two hits and an RBI, and Peter Uriarte had a solo home run.
La Jolla catcher Chris Duncan also hit a bases-empty home run.
City Central League
Madison 6, Lincoln 4--First-place Madison (15-6, 7-1), despite getting only four hits in the game, scored three runs in the first inning and two in the second off Darran Hall and Tobias Price. Madison got single RBIs from Jesus Martinez, Jerry Jones, Brad Tade, Brian Delgado, Robert Gross, Mike Hughes. Martinez (6-4) and Brian Presley allowed Lincoln seven hits, including three by Akili Smith (two RBIs). Shawn McKinney also had an RBI single.
Crawford 10, Hoover 5--Hoover outhit the Colts, 10-8, but three Cardinal pitchers walked 13 batters and hit another. For second-place Crawford, which improved to 11-10, 6-2, Sammy Gagliano reached safely five of five times and had one RBI. He had two hits, walked twice and was hit by a pitch. Larry Haley improved to 5-1. Pasqual Casas went three for four for Hoover (3-17, 0-8).
City Eastern League
Mira Mesa 10, Morse 8--Brian Wilson had two hits and five RBIs as third-ranked Mira Mesa (18-5, 7-1) scored 10 runs in the first three innings. The Tigers (10-11, 3-5) roared back with two runs in the third, four in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, but winner Ryan Cunningham (4-0) and Jason Payne (save) held them off. Alfred Enano went two for three with two RBIs for Morse.
Patrick Henry 8, Serra 7--With two outs and two strikes, Dennis Twombley hit a three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning to lift Patrick Henry (9-12-2, 4-5). The Patriots scored their runs in bunches, getting five in the first inning, three on Eric Slama's sixth home run. Slama finished with two hits in four at-bats. Pitcher Robbie Coe, who replaced Chad Pagni in the fifth inning, got the victory. J.T. Hooks went three for four with an RBI for Serra (9-13, 4-4). Losing pitcher Ram Barrera went two for three with an RBI.
City Harbor League
St. Augustine 10, Christian 6--Eric Miranda had three hits and five RBIs, and Javier Pamus had three hits and four RBIs to lift sixth-ranked St. Augustine (21-5, 7-1). Christian (1-18, 0-8) held a 6-4 lead through five innings, but a five-run sixth pulled it out for the first-place Saints and winning reliever Memo Lopez (4-0, seven saves). Christian's Jonas Sanders had two doubles and two RBIs.
Clairemont 6, Marian 4--Craig Goodwin hit a two-run homer, his second, and he pitched the final two innings to earn his fifth save for the Chieftains (8-13-1, 3-5). Kevin Odom (1-0) was the winner. Marian is 4-16, 4-4.
Bonita Vista 2, Hilltop 1--Bonita Vista (16-8, 8-2) managed only four hits off losing pitcher Nathan Dighera (3-2), but still had enough to win in eight innings and remain alone in second place. The Barons scored the winning run in the top of the eighth after a single, a wild pitch, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly. Hilltop is 10-10, 4-5.
Montgomery 9, Southwest 4--Second-ranked Montgomery (20-3, 11-0) moved to within one victory of becoming the first team in the county to clinch at least a tie for a league championship. The Aztecs did so by getting 11 strikeouts from sophomore right-hander Oscar Robles (6-2), who helped his own cause at the plate, going three for five with two RBIs. Jose Lorenzana added two hits and scored three runs. Southwest fell to 6-11-1, 3-7.
Mar Vista 11, Chula Vista 2--Mar Vista (15-7-2, 7-3-1) scored six runs in the first two innings and coasted behind the slugging of Shawn Simmons and Ricky Quinones. Simmons went three for four and had a three-run homer in the seventh inning, while Quinones went four for five with two RBIs. Quinones (4-3) and two relievers limited Chula Vista (7-12, 1-9) to seven hits, though sophomore Alex Pelaez went two for three with a double.
Sweetwater 4, Castle Park 2--Sweetwater (9-11-1, 3-7) got only five hits off loser Ruben Aguilera but took advantage of three errors. Danny Bringas and Robert Molina had run-scoring hits for the Red Devils. Kiko Palacios was two for three for Castle Park (14-10, 5-5).
City Eastern League
Serra 3, Mira Mesa 2--In the 4 1/2 years boys' volleyball has been sanctioned by the San Diego Section, Serra had never beaten league foe Mira Mesa, which captured the first four City Eastern League championships. And after taking the first two games Thursday, Mira Mesa, which beat Serra in the first round of league play, appeared well on its way to another victory.
The Conquistadors, however, rallied to tie the third game, 13-13, then went on to win, 11-15, 10-15, 15-13, 15-9, 15-9. With the victory, seventh-ranked Serra (13-2, 6-1) can wrap up its first league title with a victory Tuesday over Morse in its final regular-season game. Serra's only other loss is to No. 3 Mt. Carmel. Joe Wojdowski led the Conquistadors with 15 kills and 14 blocks and Owen Urkov added 12 kills. Eighth-ranked Mira Mesa fell to 4-2 in league.