NORTHEAST GLENDALE — A four-hour thriller saw the Glendale Angelenos trail, tie and then fall behind by as many as five runs in the seventh inning.
But Glendale’s summer collegiate baseball club made an improbable comeback when Ruben Padilla singled up the middle with two outs to score Matt Tellesco for the game-winning run.
It capped a seven-run ninth inning, as the Angelenos defeated the SoCal Halos, 11-10, at Stengel Field.
Glendale (7-2) trailed, 10-4, heading into the bottom of the ninth, as it got five hits, including four straight to close out the win.
“Words can’t describe how elated I am,” Angelenos Coach Tony Riviera said. “That’s why you never quit.”
Danny Casey singled to score Edgar Montes to tie the game. Then with runners on second and third on a 2-2 count with two outs, Padilla batted in the winning run.
The game broke open in the third inning, when each team scored three runs. Allen Gwynn put the Halos ahead, 5-3, in the fourth when he whacked a two-out, two-run double on an 0-2 count to regain the lead.
Gwynn finished two for four, scoring once and also getting hit by a pitch.
Glendale shuffled through six pitchers, allowing 12 hits and committing three errors, including one that led to three SoCal runs in the seventh for a 9-4 lead.
SoCal opened the third inning with four hits and a walk against Glendale’s Greg Astor, including three straight RBIs. It started with a drive up the middle, a full-count walk, a RBI double and a two-run scoring single for a 3-0 lead with no outs.
After giving up two more hits, the Angelenos replaced Astor with Angel Rodriguez, who struck out three straight to close out the top of the third. In the bottom of that inning, however, the Halos experienced similar defensive woes.
Glendale got its first four batters on base — the first on an error, then three straight hits.
Ellis Whitman, who hit a two-run double to even the score with no outs (advancing to third base on that sequence with a wild throw to home), was stranded in scoring position.
Whitman finished two for five with four RBI.
In the top of the fourth, Rodriguez plunked one batter and walked another. Then, Gwynn sent a two-out, two-run double to left-center to push the Halos ahead, 5-3.
Jose Hernandez followed with a single that scored Gwynn from second after an overthrow to Glendale catcher Eric Suarez later in the fourth.
Unlike the third inning, the Angelenos were unable to match the Halos’ production in the bottom of the fourth.
Two straight hits and a sacrifice put Glendale in scoring position, with Tellesco on second base. With two outs, though, SoCal’s center fielder made a sliding catch to preserve a 6-3 advantage.
The Angelenos scored in the sixth to trim the deficit, 6-4. With one out, Tellesco singled and then Casey sent a RBI double past the out-stretched arm of the Halos’ third baseman.
In the seventh inning, SoCal tacked on three more runs on an error, when Glendale’s Scott Hung missed a fly ball deep in center field.
But the Angelenos prevailed with a monster ninth inning.