Rebels rally for rare road win against Panthers

PASADENA — Maybe it was the extra incentive of the Prep League's fiercest rivalry or simply the urgency of avoiding a three-game winless start in league, but the Flintridge Prep baseball team dug down for a little something extra with Tuesday's Prep League game at Pasadena Poly on the line and came up with a rare gem indeed.

Prep right fielder Karlsen Termini smashed a run-scoring double to deep center field with two outs to complete a three-run Rebels rally and comeback from a two-run deficit in their final at-bats and make a winner of starting pitcher Clayton Weirick, who closed it out himself in the bottom of the seventh to notch a complete game in the 4-3 win.

"I was looking for the fastball. [Poly reliever Jonah Campbell] was having some trouble controlling his curveball, so he left it up a couple times, but I was just waiting for the one pitch," said Termini, who went one for three with a hit-by-pitch and run scored. "We're not going to give up. I mean, this is Poly."

The win is Prep's first at Poly in at least 14 years, according to Rebels Coach Buzz Cook, and its first in the series overall since April 7, 2009. It comes against the defending league and CIF Southern Section Division VI defending champion just as Prep needed a statement win after a 1-5 start with back-to-back losses to Webb to open league. For the Panthers (2-4, 0-1 in league), the loss breaks a 26-game league winning streak dating back to May 1, 2009.

"For us, this was kind of a do-or-die sort of game," said Cook, who got seven strong innings from Weirick, in which the junior allowed two earned runs on seven hits while striking out four.

Poly, which got a strong start from right-handed sophomore David Orndorff (one earned run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings), advanced the tying run to third base in the bottom of the seventh when first baseman Chris Ward doubled with one out and moved to third on a groundout. Panthers catcher Caleb Lee's popup down the right-field line was nearly snared by the sliding Termini for the final out, which would come one pitch later on a 4-3 grounder.

"I feel like as the game went on, I kind of worked my way back into it," said Weirick, who allowed the Panthers a go-ahead run in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by center fielder Davey Feess to make it 2-1 after Brad Olson had singled to third base and moved to third on a double by second baseman Luke Asperger (two for three with a run scored).

Poly, which is ranked sixth in the division, padded its lead in the fifth inning when right fielder Joey Asperger reached on an error to lead off the frame, stole second base and scored on a two-out ground-rule double by Campbell, who started at third base, to make it 3-1.

"It was a toss-up game, we got a few lucky breaks to get our runs in," said Poly Coach Wayne Ellis, whose team tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the second inning on a run-scoring single up the middle by outfielder Zack Bern after Prep had taken its first lead in the top of the inning on a Steve Fleming RBI double. "Our starter did a real nice job, pitched real well and so did theirs. We kept them off-balance, but [Orndorff] was getting tired at the end."

Prep's comeback actually started in the top of the sixth when a two-out rally was enough to force Orndorff off the hill with runners on second and third following Fleming's second double of the day with third baseman Cole Rademacher on base. Campbell got the final out on two pitches, but wasn't as effective in the seventh.

He hit catcher Dylan Arya to lead off the inning, induced a groundout that advanced courtesy runner David Gibson and then surrendered a rolling single through the middle of the infield off the bat of shortstop Brendan McKiernan to put runners at the corners with one out. First baseman Alex Sierra followed with single to right field to plate Gibson that cut the lead to 3-2 before designated hitter Royce Park came up with a game-tying sacrifice fly to plate McKiernan.

Termini's bomb off the second offering from Campbell caromed off the roof of the gymnasium, which is a double per Poly's ground rules.

"It starts with the first batter of the inning, he hits a batter and puts him on," Ellis said. "They got some hits, they're a good team.

[Campbell] didn't hold them, he's one of our better relievers. That's just the way it goes, if he had gotten three outs, we would all be happy."

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