Inning after inning, run after run, hit after hit, Valley Chatsworth and Camarillo had an answer for each other in a third-round game at the Area 6 American Legion baseball playoffs Saturday at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Camarillo had the final answer in the bottom of the 10th inning when Shane Miranda tied the score with a two-run home run and Nick Barroso hit a run-scoring single to finish a 16-15 victory, putting Camarillo one victory from for the state tournament.
"That was the most nerve-racking game I've ever been in," Miranda said. "It was just amazing."
Camarillo will play a rematch with Valley Chatsworth today at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Valley Chatsworth eliminated Ojai-Santa Paula, 12-11, in the nightcap.
Valley Chatsworth must beat Camarillo twice today in order to win the tournament.
The first game is scheduled to begin at noon, with the second at 3 p.m. if necessary.
Each team left its starting pitcher in for nine innings and after the game both coaches agreed it might have been one inning too long.
After taking a 15-13 lead in the top of the 10th, Coach Matt LaCour of Valley Chatsworth opted to stay with Scott Sellz, who had given up two hits in the previous four innings.
Sellz retired Justin Collins to open the inning, then gave up a single to Mark Hensley. Miranda, who homered in the third inning, hit a 2-and-0 pitch over the left-field fence to tie the game. It was his third two-homer game this summer.
"I knew it was gone right when I hit it," said Miranda, who has 10 homers this season. "That was the pitch [fastball] I was looking for and he threw it to me."
Sellz got Eric Foster to hit a grounder to second but first baseman Charles Kenny pulled his foot off the bag to catch the throw and dropped the ball when he applied the tag to Foster. Sellz walked Garrett Valencia and was relieved.
"He wanted the game," LaCour said of Sellz, who had thrown more than 160 pitches.
Joe Guntz threw a wild pitch to put runners on second and third and Barroso delivered the knockout blow, his third hit of the game.
"I told myself to hit the ball hard," Barroso said. "I knew the defense was tight, but [if I] hit the ball hard somewhere and make them make the play."
Camarillo led, 12-11, in the eighth inning and added an insurance run when Valencia homered to left-center field.
Valencia took the mound in the ninth having thrown 135 pitches. He issued a leadoff walk to Jeff Spector and after getting Kenny to fly out to center, gave up back-to-back singles to Jason Spector and Nick Huston.
He walked Scott Drake, bringing home a run, and Matt Fisher hit a sacrifice fly to tie the score.
"We were thinking about making a change," Coach Mike Valdez of Camarillo said. "He wanted the game. He deserved the game and we had to let him try."
Camarillo scored in all but two innings and Chatsworth was held scoreless in four.
In the fourth, Camarillo sent nine batters to the plate and scored five runs on five hits and two errors. Spenser Wyman and Dustin Adams each had RBI singles, Hensley doubled home two runs and Kevin Brown scored on a wild pitch for an 8-4 lead.
Chatsworth score for five runs in the sixth. Kenny, whose three hits included a homer, led off with a double, his second of the game. Jason Spector walked and Drake singled to load the bases with one out. Fisher walked to force in a run, and Mike Kunes followed with a two-run single. Chad Redfern added a sacrifice fly and Sellz closed the rally with an RBI single for a 11-10 lead.
Valley Chatsworth 12, Ojai-Santa Paula 11--Redfern had three hits, including a two-run homer and finished with four RBIs, and Valley Chatsworth hung on in an elimination game.
Jason Spector drove in what turned out to be the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning that gave Valley Chatsworth (31-4) a 12-8 lead.
Josh Lake hit a three-run homer in the eighth for Ojai-Santa Paula (27-7-1).
Kenny hit a two-run homer in the fifth and recorded a save for Valley Chatsworth in relief of Ryan Robbins (5-0).
Ojai-Santa Paula 12, Westside 2--Nate Pierce pitched eight strong innings for Ojai-Santa Paula.
Ojai-Santa Paula scored six runs in the fifth inning, capped by Pierce's RBI double. Noah Lowry had three hits, including two doubles, three RBIs and four runs.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
Area 6 Legion Playoffs (Double Elimination)
at Jackie Robinson Stadium
* Ojai-Santa Paula 12, Westside 2
* Camarillo 16, Valley Chatsworth 15
Camarillo to championship round
* Valley Chatsworth 12, Ojai-SP 11
Ojai-Santa Paula eliminated
at Jackie Robinson Stadium
* Noon--Camarillo vs. Chatsworth
Game to follow if Camarillo loses