NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Though his first three at-bats, Glendale Angelenos lead-off batter Scott Hong had turned in a less-than-stellar performance in the summer collegiate baseball opener Tuesday night at Stengel Field.
Hong had failed to hit the ball out of the infield in his first three plate appearances before connecting on consecutive run-scoring singles, the second plating teammate Matthew Tellesco with the winning run in the 10th inning of the Angelenos' 6-5 win over the visiting East Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I just told myself that I needed to slow things down after my first couple of at-bats," said Hong, who starred at Stengel Field as a member of the Glendale Community College baseball team. "I just had to refocus and get some better at-bats."
Glendale had a runner at first with one out in the 10th after Tellesco reached on a fielder's choice against Dodgers reliever Leonard De La Rosa.
The Angelenos' following batter, Edgar Montes, followed with an infield single that led to an intentional walk of Danny Casey that loaded the bases with one out.
De La Rosa caught some life when he induced an infield pop up for the second out of the inning,
Yet, after falling behind, 2-1, to Hong, De La Rosa's following fastball was ripped up the middle for the game-winning single by Hong.
"He started with a curve ball and then a couple of fastballs up," said Hong, who finished two for five with two RBIs. "I then got that fastball I was waiting for down the middle and hit it."
Hong previously connected on a two-out RBI single in the sixth inning that capped a three-run rally for Glendale, which also included a RBI single from Pedro Aldape, which put the Angelenos ahead, 5-2.
Yet, East Los Angeles knotted the game a half inning later with three runs in the top half of the seventh aided by a wild pitch and an error.
With the bases loaded and two outs, the Dodgers pulled within two runs on a wild pitch from reliever Michael Robinson that preceded a clutch-two run single to left from center fielder Justin De La Nuez.
The dueling three-run rallies were part of a wild 1 1/2-inning swing in which eight of the game's 11 runs were scored.
East Los Angeles initially tied the game at 2 in the top of the sixth with two runs thanks to a two-run pinch-hit double from Skip Ferreria.
Glendale opened the game with a run in the first inning as Ellis Whitman walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single from Gomez.
The Angelenos added an extra run in the fourth when a lead-off single from Gomez (three for five with a run and RBI) was cashed in on a run-scoring fielder's choice from Casey.
"This game sets the tone for the season," Angelenos Manager Tony Riviera said. "We don't want to lose a game this season — that's our team goal and it's a solid goal. So, it's great to start with a win."
Glendale hosts East Los Angeles today at 6:30 p.m. in the second game of the four-game series at Stengel Field.