PASADENA — With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, David Olmedo-Barrera stepped into the batter's box with confidence. On the third pitch of his at-bat, the St. Francis High second baseman got a fastball he could handle.
Olmedo-Barrera singled to center field with one out to score Tommy Scheper and give host St. Francis a 2-1 Mission League victory against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame at Jackie Robinson Field.
"I felt like I couldn't be in a better position," said the Cal State Fullerton-bound Olmedo-Barrera, who finished with three hits. "Going into our last at-bat, there was no doubt we could get a run to win it.
"Notre Dame's got a great team and it's good to take two games from them."
Scheper walked to lead off the seventh and moved to second on a sacrifice by Daniel Porto. Jake Hirabayashi intentionally walked Anders Schraer. PJ Dezotell then sacrificed to the pitcher, who threw the ball for a force-out attempt, but Scheper just beat the throw.
Olmedo-Barrera then singled over the center fielder's head to win it.
St. Francis (5-6, 2-2 in league) toppled Notre Dame (6-5, 1-3) for the second time in four days. St. Francis posted a 6-2 road win Tuesday, giving it a bit of momentum heading into Friday's rematch, which featured a nice pitcher's duel between St. Francis' Will Larkin (3-1) and Hirabayashi (1-2).
Larkin, a senior left-hander, got out of several early tough spots before retiring the side in order in the sixth.
St. Francis interim Coach Aaron Milam chose to have Larkin remain on the mound in the seventh.
With one out, Brett Sesma singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. After Larkin got Jordan Myrow on a fly to left, Payton Milone hit an 0-2 pitch over the right fielder's head to knot the game at 1.
"I left the ball over the plate a little and that happens sometimes," said Larkin, who allowed seven hits. "I wanted to go out there and get the win [in the seventh].
"I knew we would put something up [in the bottom of the seventh]. David got the clutch hit."
Olmedo-Barrera got things started for St. Francis in the first with a lead-off triple to right. With one out, Jeff Garavaglia singled to left to make it 1-0.
In the second inning, St. Francis caught a break that involved an alert play by Larkin. With two out and a runner on first, Myrow hit a high pop up between home plate and third base. St. Francis third baseman Tei Vanderford and catcher Tynan Holmstrom both called for the ball, which landed between them. Notre Dame base runner Matt McNabb broke for home, Vanderford picked up the ball and tossed it to Larkin, who tagged McNabb out.
"I saw them go for the ball and it fell," Larkin said. "I saw home plate was vacant, so I had to hustle to the plate and I caught it in what was a bang-bang play."
Milam said St. Francis, which finished with five hits, regrouped nicely after beginning league with a pair of losses against Loyola.
"We got these two wins," Milam said. "With David, there wasn't anyone else we wanted up because he does well under pressure.
"Will was who we wanted to go with [in the seventh]. He was dialed in after setting down them in the sixth. He came through."