Grubman’s Shutout Lifts Cleveland to Title
Dodger Stadium officials may not have been in a giving mood Tuesday--all balls hit into the stands had to be returned because of a ball shortage, a terse pregame announcement warned--but Sylmar High’s defense didn’t mind handing Reseda Cleveland the City Section baseball championship.
A crucial second-inning, two-base error--one of three Spartan miscues--contributed to No. 15-seeded Cleveland’s only run in a 1-0 victory over top-seeded Sylmar that marked the first championship-game shutout since 1982.
Byron Grubman pitched a three-hitter and scored as the Cavaliers (21-11) won their first championship since 1982 and became the first 15th-seeded team to win a title since North Hills Monroe in 1988.
“We knew we were better than the 15th seed, so we came in with a lot of confidence,” said Cleveland center fielder Trevor Arroyo, whose diving catch with a runner on first ended the game.
Grubman drew a leadoff walk in the second inning and took third base when Jamie Mah’s pickoff throw in the dirt sputtered past first baseman Mike Garcia. Matt Jordan drove in Grubman with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Grubman (9-3) struck out four, walked two and allowed only one runner as far as third base, when Mah doubled, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and was stranded in the fourth.
Garcia hit a first-pitch single to center to open the seventh for Sylmar (27-5), which was trying to send retiring Coach Gary Donatella out a winner.
Grubman struck out the next two batters before retiring David Luna on a fly ball.
In the City Invitational final, Ryan Braun hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to lead Granada Hills (16-16) to a 5-2 victory over Harbor City Narbonne (13-14).