East County Sports

Dove Tail walk-off Stars at NBCRT

Tritons standout smacks 2-run homer
to walk-off the Stars at NBC Regional

By Nick Pellegrino
Special to East County Sports

SANTEE (7-1-2017) – La Jolla High alum Alex Eliopulos knows a thing or two about pressure situations.
The starting third baseman and clean-up hitter for UC San Diego (44-19) this past season, he helped the Tritons reach the NCAA Division II championship game. Despite a setback to titlist West Chester, Eliopulos  was named to the all-NCAA postseason team.
So when it came to the opening pool play contest in the Western Regional qualifying tournament for th National Baseball Congress World Series, Eliopulos didn’t feel the pressure. And it showed.
With two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the 9th inning, Eliopulos blasted a deep line drive over the right field fence for a 2-run, walk-off home run to lead Dave Tail Baseball Academy to a stunning 6-5 triumph over the San Diego Stars.
Not only was the decision a tournament loss, since the teams were unable to schedule all four league meetings and we stuck with two games head-to-head contests, the ballgame was considered a “double game” and will also count in the standings.  Thus, the Stars fell out of a deadlock for first place in the South Division of the Western Baseball Association.
In theory, the Eliopulos shot should have trimmed the Dove Tail deficit to 5-3. However, the Stars burned three opportunities to turn double plays earlier in the game, allowing an unearned run to score.
“That’s where we lost the game,” said Stars owner/field manager Mickey Deutschman. “At this level of ball, all those plays are considered routine, but it was some of new guys who couldn’t complete the plays.”
Stars right fielder Dallas Seidel batted 2-for-4 to raise his summer average to a club-leading .490. Following a double, he smacked a solo homer to right field, gaining a share of the club lead with Shane Coleman with 3 homers and extending the Stars lead to 5-3 in the 8th.
However, Dove Tail matched the run in the 8th, then following a hit-by-pitch in the 9th, Eliopulos netted his game-winner against the bullpen, leaving starting pitcher Mark Young with no decision despite allowing just one earned run over 7 1/3 innings.
The Stars, despite a 13-5 overall record to rest near the top of the standings, are now 0-3 against FTA this season. They return to NBC Regional action on Saturday, hosting the powerful Fresno A’s at 9.a.m., also at West Hills High School.

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