San Fernando goes the distance to beat El Camino Real, 2-1

With a trip to Dodger Stadium at stake, Woodland Hills El Camino Real and San Fernando sent out their All-City pitchers, Jose Cardona and David Lira, and the game went on and on Wednesday night at USC.

Cardona lasted through eight innings and 119 pitches. Lira stayed all the way through the 10th inning, and after his 141st pitch, a curveball that struck out Oscar Tinjaca, San Fernando had beaten El Camino Real, 2-1, in an exhausting City Section Division I semifinal game.

Jose Reyes’ RBI double in the top of the 10th inning scored William Vazquez with the go-ahead run. Lira allowed only three hits while striking out 11.

Lira had a no-hitter through five innings and led, 1-0, on an RBI single by James An in the fourth off Cardona.


But Tinjaca led off the sixth with a single and Jake Mills delivered a two-out RBI triple to tie the game at 1-1. San Fernando will play Chatsworth in Saturday’s 2 p.m. final at Dodger Stadium.

“I work hard every day,” Lira said. “I felt fresh, I felt good, and I kept going.”

Earlier at USC, Chatsworth players stepped into the batter’s box in the fifth inning against Birmingham and enthusiastically followed that old baseball tradition known as “take one for the team.”

Birmingham pitcher Kevin Torres, working on a one-hit shutout, hit Ricky Obando, then pinch hitter Ernesto Prado, then pinch hitter Justin Vega to load the bases with none out.

“It’s frustrating because I know I can beat them and then that one bad inning,” Torres said.

Top-seeded Chatsworth (24-5) pushed across two runs on a squeeze bunt and ground out and went on to secure a 4-1 victory over the Patriots.

It’s the 14th Dodger Stadium appearance in Coach Tom Meusborn’s 22 seasons. The Chancellors have won eight times under Meusborn.

“Torres did a great job,” Meusborn said. “We had to battle, we had to compete, we had to find ways to get runs today. We were fortunate he lost command for a little while and gave us an opportunity to get into the game.”


Birmingham took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on an RBI single by Randy Medellin. Meusborn pulled starter Christian Lopez after he hit a Birmingham batter to load the bases, and ace Angel Rodriguez came in to throw 22/3 innings of shutout relief to pick up the victory.