Velazco Helps Sylmar Put Squeeze on Poly in 11th, 6-5


After nearly four hours of baseball, Sylmar High's Carlos Velazco would have given his right arm to put an end to the Spartans' East Valley League game against Poly on Wednesday.

Fact is, he did give his right arm for two innings of middle relief, but the Spartans needed something else. And Velazco was there to deliver.

Velazco's squeeze bunt in the 11th inning drove in Tommy Mitchell to give the Spartans a 6-5 victory in front of about 250.

Velazco put an end to the teams' second extra-inning game in three days. Sylmar (21-3, 12-0 in league play), The Times' top-ranked team in the area, needed eight innings for a 1-0 victory at Poly (17-4, 9-3) on Velazco's two-hitter Monday.

"After 11 innings, I'll do whatever it takes to win," Velazco said.

Sylmar Coach Gary Donatella called for the squeeze because the Spartans were having great difficulty against Poly relief pitcher Javier Vasquez, who relieved in the second and did not surrender a hit until the ninth.

"We hadn't been making great contact off that guy," Donatella said.

But Vasquez (3-3), who was using a splitter to baffle the Spartans, had tremendous control problems early. He walked seven (two intentionally) and hit five batters by game's end.

Nonetheless, he allowed just three hits in nine innings and was unhittable for the first 6 2/3 innings of his relief appearance.

Sylmar parlayed three hits--including Velazco's solo home run--and three errors into a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Poly tied it, 5-5, in the sixth on three hits, three walks and an error. Sylmar starter Mario Cervantes (5-0) was pulled in the sixth, but returned in the eighth and allowed just two hits in the final four innings.

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