In a Pacific Coast League game featuring first-place Beckman against fourth-place Corona del Mar it appeared it would be a tight one … through the first three innings.
But then came chaos in the fourth inning. Well, it was chaos for CdM. Yet it was a bonafide, two-out rally for the Patriots, who scored seven runs and went on to beat the Sea Kings, 11-2, Friday at CdM.
It left the Sea Kings (6-16, 4-7 in league) needing to win their final four regular-season games for a playoff berth and it left the Patriots (20-2, 10-1) thinking they are capable of making a strong postseason run.
But you wont' hear the Patriots say anything like that. Their fans, and there were plenty at this game, don't like to about it. They have several superstitions, for instance they all enjoy a lollipop before the fifth inning. When they're at home, after a win, they'll play the 1990s hit song from Montell Jordan, "This is how we do it," said Deanna Bartholomew, whose son, Chase, plays second base.
They probably could've gotten away with playing the song after this win because of their large crowd. They took over CdM, and so did the players they were cheering for.
During the rally, Chase Bartholomew, a senior who's headed to NCAA Division II Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) on a full-ride scholarship, produced a clutch single to right field that scored two runs and gave the Patriots a 3-2 lead.
Beckman Coach Kevin Lavelle pointed to that hit as the one that gave the Patriots a spark.
"In most every baseball game there's always this door," Lavelle said. "Somebody goes through the door or someone locks the door. They left the door open for us a little bit and we went through it. All of a sudden it turns into an 11-2 game."
Chase Bartholomew said he didn't think his single was much of a hit, but it was more than enough. Maybe the thought of those lollipops helped.
"I don't know too much about their superstitions, but they seem to be working," Chase Bartholomew said.
The Sea Kings might try to find some of that mojo for some help. But they did appear to be fine through the first three innings.
CdM took a 2-1 lead with two runs on two outs in the bottom of the second. Senior designated hitter Wyatt Zalewski's single to center field ended up giving the Patriots problems.
The Beckman catcher didn't catch the throw to the plate and sophomore Brenden Hueston scored. The catcher then overthrew to third to allow junior Konrad Lyle to come around to score.
Zalewski was a bit greedy and tried to score, but was tagged out at home to end the inning. Hueston and Lyle both singled to reach base.
Lyle made a sensational grab in left field to start the fourth inning, as he stole a home run from Brennan Guinet.
Coach John Emme believes his team is capable of winning four straight. The Sea Kings will need to if they want to continue their season.
"We feel like we're going to have our fate in our own hands," Emme said. "We play Northwood and Irvine. We have the ability to beat them. If we can run those four games then I think we're in. I told the kids our playoffs start Monday at practice and we'll see what happens on Tuesday."