East County Sports

Pack can’t hold lead, lose to Red Devils


EastCountySports.com staff report

SWEETWATER 7, WEST HILLS 6:  At Wolf Pack Park, West Hills found a different way to lose in a GMC Tournament pool-play ballgame to the visiting Red Devils. Down 5-0, the Pack comeback included a pair of runs in the bottom of the 7th inning, but they fell one short.

West Hills has dropped six straight contest, including the last four by a composite total of five runs.

“We keep coming up one short, whether it’s a big hit, a key strike by our pitchers or someone making a play on defense,” noted Pack coach Mickey Deutschman. “We’re so close right now, but once we get that one play, we’re going to be fine.”

The late rally started on consecutive, one-out singles by a pair of late-inning substitutes, designated hitter Gavin Kondyra (line drive to center) and outfielder Cody Pedrero (infield grounder).

Kai Dennis followed with a two-run double to left-center field, part of the starting catcher’s 2-for-3, 3 RBI performance at the plate. However, Sweetwater reliever John Pyle escaped with a pair of ground outs to gain the victory.

ThreRed Devils scored in each of their first three trip to the plate to assume a 5-0 lead before the Pack bats caught stride.

With two pits in the 3rd, SuHi starting pitcher Manny Huerta blew his bid for a perfect game when he hit opposing starting pitcher Josh Gaylord with a pitch, then walked leadoff batter Ryder Diebold.

Dennis followed with his first double, trimming the deficit to 5-2.

An inning later, Andrew Ritayik leadoff with a double to right-center field. One out later, Devin Bevilacqua walked, then the Pack got a break when a double-play grounder was booted, allowing Ritayik to score.

The second run scored on a wild pitch, ending Gaylord’s day on the mound, thus not qualifying for the win after only going 3 2/3 innings.

Sweetwater answered in the 5th, utilizing a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases. However, an error allowed the Devils to regain their 3-run lead.

For Sweetwater (3-4), shortstop Danny Zapeda batted 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, as 8 of the team’s 9 starters registered hits.

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