Unexpected Pop From Gunn Lifts Chaminade Over Crespi

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The batter was John Gunn and the call was hit and run.

Gunn tried to hit a ground ball.

Instead, the Chaminade High senior second baseman smacked the first home run of his career, a three-run shot in the sixth inning, to lift the Eagles to a 5-2 victory over Crespi in a Mission League game Wednesday.

Gunn's home run, a curving high fly ball that sailed over a 35-foot screen above the right-field fence 300 feet from home plate, capped a four-run inning to help the Eagles erase a 2-1 deficit.

"I've only hit a handful off the net in my career and never one really high off the net," Gunn said. "I got jammed and I didn't really extend the way I wanted. I don't know how it happened. It's hit and run, you just try to put the ball in play."

Chaminade (16-8) improved to 8-5 in Mission League play to open a one-game lead over Crespi (15-9, 7-6) in the battle for third place.

The victory was also the first against Crespi for third-year Chaminade Coach Dave Desmond.

"When you play in a funky ballpark like ours, it's a flip of the coin who is going to get the breaks," Desmond said. "We just happened to get a ball lofted over a net on a hit and run play. It would be a routine out anywhere else."

It will be anything but a routine game when the teams meet Friday at Valley College in the league finale. A victory by the Eagles would secure their first postseason appearance since moving to the Mission League in 1990.

A victory by Crespi would force a tiebreaker Saturday for the league's final playoff spot and an early end to Chaminade's post-prom celebration Friday night.

"We have the prom coming up and we don't want to have the situation of playing a game afterward if we lose," Gunn said. "We had to win. Nobody likes the pressure of being one down in a three-game series."

Gabe Crecion drove in Franco Leonor with a sacrifice fly to tie the score, 2-2, setting the stage for Gunn's home run.

Joel Orme (7-3) pitched his ninth complete game, striking out six. Orme and Jason Giovannettone each had two hits. Orme's run-scoring single in the third inning gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

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