Acheatel Gives West a Bit Extra

After scattering seven hits in 10 innings, there was little more Greg Acheatel could do.

His Woodland Hills West team was tied with West Hills-Chaminade in an American Legion baseball District 20 playoff game, and Acheatel was pulled for reliever Nick Gomez.

Two innings later, Acheatel did one last thing, providing a clutch hit.

Acheatel singled home the winning run in the top of the 12th inning to help No. 7-seeded Woodland Hills West (20-7) past No. 3 West Hills-Chaminade, 7-3, at Birmingham High.

In the 12th, Woodland Hills West rattled pitcher T.J. Franco, who had been effective since entering the game in the seventh.

Ryan Gunches led off the inning with a double to left-center, his fourth hit. Mike Leduc followed with a single to left, extending his hitting streak to 17 games, and Acheatel drove home Gunches with a single to right.

"I thought, 'Do whatever I can to get my guy in,' " Acheatel said. "I wanted to win the game so bad."

Woodland Hills West added three runs, capped by Ryan Schwartz's two-run single.

West Hills-Chaminade (21-6-1) threatened to end the game in the 11th, loading the bases with no out. Gomez (3-3) started the inning by allowing a single and walk before mishandling a bunt.

"I thought it would take a miracle to get out of that inning," Gomez said.

That miracle took form in a double play that allowed Woodland Hills West to survive.

Cody Haerther grounded to first baseman Gunches, who threw Justin Shore out at home, and catcher Leduc doubled up Haerther at first. Woodland Hills West intentionally walked Jonathon Higashi for the second consecutive time, and Gomez retired Ryan Soroka on a deep fly to left.

Gomez retired the side in the 12th, striking out the final two batters.

Acheatel did not allow an extra base hit, struck out two and allowed one earned run.

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