Glendora tops Diamond Bar in pitchers’ duel, 3-0
After six innings of a scoreless game Friday that featured two elite high school pitchers in junior left-hander Kenny Mathews from Diamond Bar and senior right-hander Adam Plutko from Glendora, Tartans Coach Dan Henley had begun to think about what to do if the game kept going on and on.
“I was making plans for the 10th, 11th and 12th inning,” Henley said. “It was really to the point where you go, ‘These guys are dueling it out and are warriors out there.’ It was a lot of fun.”
Surprisingly, the game didn’t go extra innings. Glendora took advantage of two errors in the top of the seventh inning to push across three unearned runs and come away with a 3-0 victory over Diamond Bar to stay in first place in the Sierra League.
Plutko (5-1), who has signed with UCLA, gave up two hits while striking out five and walking one. Mathews (5-1), who is committed to Cal State Fullerton, gave up two hits while striking out 10 and walking two. These two pitchers had locked up almost a month ago, with Diamond Bar winning, 1-0.
But Diamond Bar (10-7, 4-3) collapsed defensively in the seventh. With two out, Glendora loaded the bases on a walk, error and hit batter. Then Josh Luevanos delivered a run-scoring single and two more runs scored on a throwing error by third baseman Henry Omana.
Glendora (15-1-1, 6-1) is ranked No. 2 in Southern Section Division II behind Encino Crespi, and the Tartans have lots of pitching depth, led by Plutko, who throws a consistent 91-mph fastball.
“He’s pitched super every time out and should be 7-0,” Henley said.
Both standout pitchers knew that any mistakes could result in defeat.
“You just go in knowing you need to throw great,” Plutko said. “You go in knowing he’s going to throw great and your team has to back you up, and that’s exactly what my team did today.”
Said Mathews: “Errors happen. It’s part of the game. It’s tough to swallow. We’ll move on.”
Plutko comes from a family of sports fanatics. His grandfather, Ray, used to be the commissioner of the Southern Section. His father, Greg, is a former Glendora basketball coach. And his sister, Sara, is a soccer player at Oregon.
“We don’t play board games too often because it gets way too competitive,” he said. “My sister likes to cheat a little bit and try to win.”