LA CRESCENTA â€” The opening game of the 2008 District 16 Junior Baseball All-Star Tournament between the Jewel City-Jewish War Veterans All-Stars and their Foothill counterparts featured no shortage of offense.
While both teams struggled at times with their pitching and defense â€” struggles which extended innings and allowed for the total of 28 runs scored â€” at the end of the day, it was Foothill's hitting that gave it the edge in a 19-9 win on Sunday at Dunsmore Park.
â€œIt's a great hitting team,â€ Foothill Manager Mike Conte said of his squad, which rapped out 17 hits and ended the game via mercy rule with a run scored by Tyler McGinnis from third base on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning. â€œI think we lost our focus a little bit there defensively, but I think we can hit with anybody.
â€œIt's just a matter of putting it together for seven innings and sustaining it and I think we can do that throughout this tournament.â€
Foothill led by as many as nine runs on two occasions prior to the sixth inning, but took its first at bats in the bottom of the first inning down, 2-0.
Tim Bennett tripled in Jewel City leadoff hitter Juan Carbajal and scored himself on a throwing error in the top of the first.
But the game was tied up when Matthew Fylce and McGinnis both came home for Foothill on a throwing error on a ground ball hit by Tei Vanderford in the bottom of the inning.
Vanderford then scored on a single by Dillon Howard. Steven Fleming singled and Vanderford and he both scored on a bases-loaded walk and a fielding error, respectively, to give Foothill a 5-2 lead.
Leading 6-2 in the top of the third, Foothill allowed Jewel City to score two runs aided by a wild pitch and two throwing errors.
Foothill was able to mitigate the damage with another two runs in its half of the inning during a rally that was fueled by run-scoring balk followed by an RBI single by Vanderford.
The bottom of the fourth saw Foothill send 12 batters to the plate and take a 14-5 lead on RBI hits from Wesley Carl, Jason Marquez and McGinnis.
â€œWe're carrying 13 guys and all 13 guys can hit,â€ Conte said. â€œThe subs coming off the bench, in reality, are starters [on their respective teams].â€
Pitching and fielding miscues by Foothill, along with timely hitting, allowed Jewel City to slowly chip away at the lead.
Jewel City scored two runs in the fifth inning on a single by Graig Kalfayan and cut the lead to 16-9 on a two-run throwing error in the sixth inning.
A Jewel City error, a double and a hit by pitch put runners in place for Foothill's game-ending rally in the bottom of the sixth, though, and Vanderford cashed in two runs with a double before Mc Ginnis' winning run.
â€œWe could have come back and been close, but one too many critical errors put us too far behind,â€ Jewel City Manager Tony Iezza said.
Foothill will play the Crescenta Valley All-Stars in the next round at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Dunsmore Park.