Not only was Calabasas High trying to halt Moorpark's undefeated run toward a Frontier League pennant Wednesday, the Coyotes still had a chance for a co-championship.
Calabasas had the right idea by sending left-handed ace Anthony Kaufman against Moorpark, which features five left-handed hitters. But Kaufman allowed the leadoff man to reach base in four of the first five innings, walked six and hit three. He blew two leads and Calabasas fell, 7-6, when Moorpark scored in the seventh.
"I wouldn't say I struggled," Kaufman said. "I was around the plate and sometimes the umpire didn't give me (the call). Moorpark had a little luck, and they battled."
Moorpark (18-3, 10-0 in Frontier play) clinched the league title thanks to three errors, eight walks and four hit-batsmen courtesy of Calabasas (14-5, 6-2).
The winning run was forced in when Moorpark's Rick Collier was hit on the shin by a fastball from Gabe Feldman (1-1). Moorpark's Brian Garrettson (7-0) pitched a complete game, walking only two.
"What a way to get the game-winning RBI," Collier said. "But we won the league. Hopefully, we'll win the CIF now."
Kaufman lived on the edge for three innings, but Moorpark wouldn't let him off the hook in the fourth, even with two out and the bases empty. Craig Weaver singled and took second on an error. Pinch hitter Jason Adamson was walked intentionally and Kaufman hit Travis Ehrlich with an 0-and-2 pitch to load the bases.
Ben Hall's two-run single gave the Musketeers a 2-1 lead.
Kaufman walked two and hit another in the fifth but right fielder Mitch Tisher saved him by robbing Hall of a three-run home run, and Calabasas regained the lead with three runs in bottom of the inning. Mike Melucci hit a two-run double to make it 3-2 and scored on a single by Sam Rutherford.
The Musketeers came back with four in the sixth on RBI singles by Collier and Adam Rauch, a sacrifice fly by Garrettson and a passed ball that scored Collier from third.
Calabasas tied it, 6-6, in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out, two-run double by Haessig, but gave it away again in the seventh when Feldman walked two and an error loaded the bases before Feldman hit Collier with the first pitch.