El Camino Real Says 14 Enough for Chatsworth

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It was an unconventional way to get an illogical victory.

With two meetings this week, the El Camino Real High baseball team figured it had a chance to end Chatsworth's run at an undefeated season in the Northwest Valley Conference. With ace pitcher Randy Wolf on the mound, Tuesday looked to be the day, but the Conquistadores lost by a run.

On Thursday, however, an accidental stolen base on a botched sacrifice attempt in the fifth inning led to two runs, giving El Camino Real a 2-0 victory that snapped the Chancellors' 14-game winning streak.

Tony Kyber (6-1) went the distance for the Conquistadores (18-5, 10-4 in league play), giving up six hits while preventing Chatsworth (22-4, 13-1) from clinching the West Valley League title outright with three games to play.

How improbable was the victory? El Camino Real was dealt a blow before the game started when Wolf, the team's best hitter, couldn't even play because of a sprained left ankle suffered near the end of Tuesday's game. He will rest the ankle over the weekend but expects to pitch next Tuesday.

Chancellor starter Oscar Bocanegra (2-1) was just as effective as Kyber until the fifth inning, when he hit second baseman Joey Maiden with a pitch to open the inning.

Matt Tays tried to sacrifice Maiden to second base, but missed the pitch. After hesitating, Maiden took off for second and beat Brandon Murphy's throw.

"I thought I was caught for sure and I wasn't going to make it," Maiden said. "I wanted to go back to first, but I don't know why I hesitated."

Maiden went to third on a balk after Tays popped up to Murphy. Designated hitter Shawn Fishman followed with a double that kicked up chalk down the left-field line for the game-winning hit. Fishman scored on a single by Clint Marcus.

Chatsworth threatened in the fifth, loading the bases with one out, but Kyber escaped with the help of good defensive plays by Tays and Gavin Bible.

"This game was a lot like Tuesday, except they jumped out on us instead of us jumping out on them," Chatsworth Coach Tom Meusborn said. "We had chances, especially in the fifth. It just didn't happen."

Kyber didn't have any more trouble until the seventh. After getting two out, Kyber threw five consecutive balls, bringing out Coach Mike Maio for a conference with Bryan LaCour at the plate.

"He just told me not to worry and not to pitch too fine to him," Kyber said. "We had a solid defense behind us, I just had to settle down."

Two pitches later, LaCour popped to first baseman Craig Carlton.

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