El Camino Real High gave Taft plenty of chances to steal a victory in a West Valley League baseball game Tuesday, but the Toreadors stumbled nevertheless because of sloppy baserunning.
The Conquistadores overcame four errors and rode the strength of Randy Wolf’s arm in the late innings to hold on for a 2-1 victory and move into second place in the West Valley League.
Wolf allowed two hits and an unearned run. Wolf (9-1) had 10 strikeouts, including six in the final three innings.
El Camino Real improved to 15-4, 7-3 in the Northwest Valley Conference; Taft fell to 12-11, 7-4.
Wolf’s biggest pitch came in the sixth inning with two runners on base, two out and a full count on Dave Helman. In the first inning, Helman had let his bat fly after a swing, and it sailed over the screen and into the El Camino Real dugout.
Helman held onto the bat in the sixth but still struck out on a curveball to end the Toreadors’ best late inning threat.
“Today was kind of a lucky day,” Wolf said. “We weren’t playing our best in the field but I guess we were able to do it when it counted.”
One break came after Taft’s Chad Marriner led off the sixth by reaching base on an error. Before his next pitch, Wolf picked off Marriner.
With one out in the seventh, Taft pitcher Dusty Cook reached first on an error. Wolf struck out Mike Ferguson, but Cook, thinking the ball had eluded catcher Steve Riback, tried to advance. Cook was caught in a rundown and tagged out to end the game.