NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Infield singles are rare for Chad Nacapoy. If he hits one, he's running with his head down while chugging to first base.
Nacapoy, a catcher on the Glendale Angelenos, came across that situation in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded and two out.
Nacapoy hit a hard grounder to third and just beat the throw to first base to give host Glendale an 8-7 California Collegiate League victory against the Major League Baseball Academy Barons on Friday night at Stengel Field.
"It's not very often that I get an infield hit," said Nacapoy, a Crescenta Valley High graduate and former All-Area selection who finished with a pair of hits. "I just put the ball in play and ran.
"Whatever happens, happens. I had my head down going to first and didn't see what happened. I was going to get to first running, sliding or diving to first. Any [infield hit] is a good one and this one came at a good time."
Austin Walker began the ninth for Glendale (24-26, 10-24 in league) with a triple to left field. After Trent Gilbert struck out, Danny Casey and Matt Tellesco were intentionally walked. Aaron Brown struck out before Nacapoy ended the game with a single that tipped off the glove of diving third baseman Glenn Walker and brought home Austin Walker.
Brown, a center fielder, kept the game tied in the ninth. With two outs and a runner on third, DJ Wallace sliced a ball toward right-center field. Brown made a sensational back-handed diving grab, appearing to give the Angelenos momentum.
"I had been communicating with the other outfielders that we needed to make a big play," Brown said. "I saw the ball well and took a good route to the ball.
"It was a huge momentum swing and then we came through in our at-bat."
The Barons (10-27, 10-24) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Glendale came back in its half of the first on a sacrifice fly by Nacapoy and a run-scoring single by former Hoover High and Glendale Community College standout Sako Chapjian.
The Barons received a lead-off home run in the second by Corey Akins to knot the game at 2 before Glendale bounced back with a run in the bottom of the frame when Gilbert stole home on a double-steal attempt.
After the Barons tied the game at 3 on a passed ball in the third, Glendale scored four runs in the fourth. Julian Barzilli had a run-scoring single that plated Josh Goossen-Brown to make it 4-3. A fielding error and a run-scoring single by Gilbert extended Glendale's lead to 6-3 and Casey used some alert base-running to score on a fly-ball double play by Tellesco. Casey scored before the third out was recorded.
A two-run double to right by Wallace brought the Barons to within 7-5 in the fifth. They made it 7-6 in the eighth on a wild pitch and the Barons' Matt Ashby, a Crescenta Valley graduate, tied the game at 7 on an error by the second baseman. The Angelenos, who finished with nine hits, will meet the Barons at 6:30 p.m. today at Stengel Field before closing out their inaugural season with a road game Sunday against the Conejo Oaks.