The Crespi High baseball team was having no luck swinging the bats. So the Celts tried not swinging--and that seemed to work.
Gus Jordt watched five pitches and walked with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to give Crespi a 1-0 Mission League victory over Loyola High on Wednesday at Valley College.
"I was just wondering how the hell we were going to score," Crespi Coach Scott Muckey said, "and that was about the only way we were going to."
The Celts were held to four hits by right-hander Robby Green. Green, who struck out only two, was hardly overpowering, but he kept the ball low and changed speeds just enough to make the Celts look silly for most of the game.
Green didn't start to crumble until he was an out away from sending the game to the 10th.
With two out in the ninth, Crespi had Jeff Christensen at second base. Christensen took third on a passed ball. Loyola Coach Kelly Nicholson ordered Green to intentionally walk pinch-hitter Keith Evans and catcher Casey Snow, loading the bases for Jordt, who had a double and a walk in three trips to the plate.
"I figured I had to do something," Jordt said. "I just took what I got."
Jordt worked the count to 3-and-0 and received the take sign on the next two pitches.
When Christensen crossed the plate, perhaps no one was happier than Crespi right-hander Jeff Suppan (3-1), who pitched a six-hitter.
"Never a doubt," Suppan said of his teammates finally getting him a run and a victory.
The accompanying smile might indicate that Suppan wasn't so sure.
Green (2-2) was in control virtually the entire game. He was inducing easy grounders and soft fly balls and his teammates, who did not make an error, were handling them perfectly.
"He was hitting his spots," Suppan said. "He really mixed it up well. And maybe our bats weren't all there."
Crespi managed only a bunt single in the first four innings. The Celts did not have two hits in an inning all day.
Jordt said Green's side-arm delivery was a problem for the Celts.
"He was sort of deceptive," Jordt said. "He hid the ball well and came at us from an awkward position."
Suppan, who has signed to pitch for UCLA, was as dominant as Green. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter. He was most impressive in working out of a jam in the seventh.
Loyola led off the inning with a double by Mike Rodriguez. Kyle Spielbuehler attempted to sacrifice Rodriguez to third, but Suppan struck him out.
Suppan retired Todd Rosa on a sharp grounder to third base and struck out Vince Clougherty.
"Ballgames usually come down to four or five pitches," Muckey said. "If your pitcher makes the right ones in those situations, you usually win."
Crenshaw 2, San Pedro 0--Crenshaw High right-hander Mark Jones pitched a no-hitter against San Pedro in a Southern Pacific Conference game at Crenshaw on Tuesday.
Jones, a senior who improved to 3-0, faced 26 batters against the defending City 4-A Division champion. He walked four and struck out one.
"They were hitting some deep fly balls, but we played great defense," Crenshaw Coach Major Dennis said.
Aaron Willard singled home Damion Porter, who had doubled to give Crenshaw a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Crenshaw, the 3-A runner-up last season, scored another run in the sixth. Damion Beaudion doubled and scored on a single by Ivan Jones.
Verbum Dei 2, Mary Star of the Sea 1--Using a tantalizing curve ball to set up an overpowering fastball throughout the game, pitching ace Dion Jackson hurled a no-hitter Tuesday for the Eagles in a Santa Fe League game at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Compton.
Jackson, a senior, struck out five Mary Star batters and contributed to his victory by getting all but one of his team's hits in a two-for-three performance.
Jackson also helped his own cause with heads-up play in the field. In the sixth inning, with the potential tying run in scoring position, Jackson neatly fielded a ball hit hard back up the middle and threw the runner, who had reached base on an error, out at third.
Four runners reached base for the Stars, three on errors and one on a walk. They scored in when a fly ball to right by clean-up batter Joe Sulentor was dropped, scoring a runner from second who had reached on an error and a stolen base.
* RAIN MAN
Hal Harkness is one of the few folks who welcomed this week's rain clouds. 30