When San Fernando was on its way to winning the City Section Divison I championship last season, the Tigers were relying on pitching and defense.
Now Sylmar (13-3, 5-0) is showing the Tigers how it's done. On Tuesday in the first game of a big two-game Valley Mission League series, pitcher Victor Ramirez allowed three hits, struck out four and walked none in Sylmar's 2-0 victory over San Fernando.
The Spartans handed two-time All-City pitcher Alonzo Garcia his first-ever loss in league play over the last three seasons. And the strategy was simple: throw strikes and make plays. Sylmar didn't commit and error made the routine plays behind Ramirez, who never came close to walking a batter.
"That's what I preach to them every day," Coach Ray Rivera said. "It's not about doing something spectacular every chance. It's a matter of them coming out and competing. And if we take care of the baseball, we're going to find ways to win games."
Jose Holguin had two hits on Tuesday, including an RBI single in the third inning off Garcia, who was pulled in the sixth after having thumb issues. San Fernando (8-9, 3-2) made three errors and several other mistakes. The Tigers also no longer have Marquis Jackson, a first baseman-pitcher who was removed from the team. He had earlier attended Alemany and Chatsworth.
Sylmar is all alone in first place. The two teams play again on Thursday at Sylmar.
In the Western League, All-City catcher Dalton Blumenfeld hit his fourth home run of the season and finished with three hits in Hamilton's 12-6, eight-inning win over University. Hamilton is 5-0 in league.
In the Marine League, Banning defeated San Pedro, 11-1. Gino Brockway threw five innings, allowing one hit while striking out five. Narbonne defeated Washington, 13-0. Javier Garcia had two hits and two RBIs. Isac Lepe also had two hits and two RBIs.