East County Sports

Patriots outlast Crusaders in Fiesta feature; Helix routed



By Adam Paul
© East County Sports.com

ALLIED GARDENS (3-26-16) — For the second game in a row the Patrick Henry Patriots would win in extra innings and international tie breaker rules as they beat visiting Mater Dei Catholic 8-7 in 8 innings in the Falcon Fiesta tournament, Friday (Mar. 25).

Patrick Henry after retiring Mater Dei in the first inning got on the board first in the bottom half thanks to Crusader miscues to lead 1-0.  Leadoff batter HANNAH McEWEN (2-5, 3 RBI, 3 R, SB) reached on an error. She would be advanced on a sacrifice by ANYA VANDERSIP (2-4, R), and would score on another error.

The Crusaders in the top of the second inning took advantage of a couple of walks which hurt the Patriots as both scored on a base hit to take a 2-1 lead. They tacked on three more runs in the top of the third inning to lead 5-1. That would be all they would get as the Patriots finally got out of the inning.

Patrick Henry since scoring the lone run in the first inning looked to finally get their bats going in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Leading off for the Patriots, ANDREA WRIGHT drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. The next batter SAVANNAH CHAPMAN (RUN) was able to reach on an error by the shortstop, RUBY GONZALEZ sacrificed Wright over to third, the next batter CASSIE VAN TIL (2-4) struck out for the second out of the inning. So with two down and runners in scoring position up came McEwen who laced a single that scored both Wright and Chapman to bring the Patriots within a couple of runs at 5-3.

Patrick Henry pitcher MADISON JAMES despite giving up a couple of hits in the top of the fifth inning was able to get out of the jam as she got the final two outs via fly ball.

Mater Dei in the bottom of the fifth made an interesting move in a pitching change.  They brought in KELLIE WHITE who some consider the top pitcher in the county for relief.  Despite giving up a hit and walk, White retired the Patriots to keep the Crusaders’ lead intact.

Mater Dei went down in order as James struck out and the defense did their part to get out of the inning. Still trailing in the game and heading to the bottom of the sixth, the Patriots knew they had to get things going and put something together.

The leadoff hitter Chapman would ground out to the shortstop for the first out, Ruby Gonzalez would take one for the team as she would get hit by a pitch, TATYANA GUERRERO (RUN) would come in to run, Van Til would groundout to third base but Guerrero would advance to second, so with two outs McEwen came up to bat.  She ripped a single that would score Guerrero bringing the score to 5-4.  Vandersip would single, CRISTIONA CACCAMISE (1-5, RBI) would knock in McEwen to tie the game and JOSIE GONZALEZ (RBI) would knock in Vandersip to give the Patriots the lead at 6-5.

Now clinging to a 6-5 lead and only needing the final three outs to get the victory, the Patriots looked to end the game.  However the Crusaders who – like the Patriots are one of the top teams in the county – showed why as they didn’t go down easy and actually were able to get to James to tie the score at 6-6.  A leadoff booming of a double and a two out single did the deed for the Crusaders.

So the Patriots had one last opportunity to win the game in regulation. Unfortunately in the bottom of the seventh White retired the Patriots in order.

Since this was a tournament game, the rules for extra innings would be played under International tie-breaker rules which meant each team would start with a runner at second base.

The Crusaders would get the first shot in the top of the eighth inning, the runner at second would be bunted over, James would strike out the next batter for the second out of the inning and she would get the next batter to pop up to first for the final out.

Patrick Henry dodged a bullet and in the bottom of the eighth the craziest thing occurred and if it wasn’t witnessed the telling of the details wouldn’t be believed as you wouldn’t expect it from the top pitcher.

The Patriots in their half of the eighth would start with McEwen at second base, she would steal third base, Vandersip flew out for the first out, Caccamise looked to end the game by driving in McEwen but she would groundout to the shortstop for the second out. So with two outs and the game looking like it would continue into more extra innings, the Patriots would take advantage of the events that would happen next.

The next batter, DANI ROMERO (1-1, 2B, SB) would be walked, Josie Gonzalez would also be walked. So with the bases loaded and two outs, Wright came to bat. Crusaders pitcher White couldn’t find the plate and with the count 3-1, the very next pitch was ball four which allowed McEwen to score the winning run and complete the comeback.

The Patriots overcame quite a bit as they had to overcome interesting umpiring when it came to the balls and strikes and also the fact that they didn’t give up when down. The victory will help the Patriots in the long run as they were able to show why they are considered one of the best teams in the county as they made the comeback against a team they had not beaten in quite some time.


OLYMPIAN 8, HELIX 1 – In a non-league contest the Helix Highlanders would travel down to the South Bay to take on the Olympian Eagles and would lose 8-1, Friday (Mar. 25).

The Highlanders would score the game’s first run in the top of the first and that would be all they would muster as the Eagles scored three in their half of the first to lead 3-1. This would be a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish as they pushed across three more runs in the second and third innings and finish by scoring two more in the bottom of the fifth inning.

By Adam Paul, © EastCountySports.com

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