El Camino Real all-city left-hander Oscar Lopez faced one sticky situation after another in a West Valley League baseball game against Birmingham on Thursday.
“That’s what you live for,” he said. “Who doesn’t like the pressure? It makes me excited.”
In the fourth inning, he got a strikeout on a 3-and-2 slider with runners second and third. In the fifth, he beat Birmingham’s top batsman, Gavin Taylor, with a runner in third. In the sixth, with bases loaded, he got a groundout to end the inning.
Lopez finished the game with seven strikeouts after throwing 105 pitches and six innings in El Camino Real’s 5-1 win.
Twice, El Camino Real coach Josh Lienhard made hill visits to try to keep Lopez from getting too pumped. “I was trying to be too perfect,” Lopez said after giving up three walks and five hits. “The coach calmed me down.”
El Camino Real (6-3, 2-0) won through execution in a few key moments. There was a bunt that resulted in a penalty and three runs in the third inning. There was catcher Eric Gonzalez kicking out a runner trying to steal third place. There was a perfect relay throw to catch two runners from Birmingham in third place. There was shortstop JJ Fagfoomsintu who made the routine plays. There was midfielder Jonathan Bogacz, who hit a home run over the left field fence for an insurance run.
“That’s what we preach – play tag,” said Lienhard.
Birmingham fell 2-0 in the league, losing to their two biggest rivals, El Camino Real and Granada Hills. Since Matt Mowry became coach in 2007, the Patriots have not won a league title but have won four City crowns.
Granada Hills 4, Taft 1: Valencio Valadez threw a full game for the Highlanders.
North Hollywood 7, Monroe 0: The Huskies won their opener in the East Valley League behind Matthew Acosta, who threw the shutout.
Mater Dei 7, John Bosco 4: The Monarchs are 5-0 in the Trinity League and have sole possession of first place. Brody Connors had four hits and Derek Gonzales hit a home run. Wylan Moss hit six in 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
JSerra 2, Santa Margarita 0: The Lions ended a five-game losing streak behind Matt Champion, who allowed one hit while hitting four and walking three.
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 6, Harvard-Westlake 3: The Knights (10-1, 7-1) won their second straight Mission League game. Dean West had a home run.
Chaminade 8, Bishop Alemany 6: Vincent Van der Wel and Carter Bennett hit home runs for Chaminade. Jacob Ortega had three goals for Alemany.
Ayala 10, Colony 0: Ethan Nunez contributed three goals for Ayala.
La Mirada 8-1, Bellflower 0-0: Eric Jeon threw five no-hit innings for La Mirada in the first game and Donald Murray slammed nine in the second to complete the sweep. Maverek Russell had two hits and three RBIs in the opener.
Corona Santiago 4, Norco 1: Nick Lewis threw the entire game for Santiago.
Lakewood 2, Long Beach-Wilson 1: Two runs in the second inning propelled Lakewood to victory in the Moore League.
Hard 6, Golden Valley 0: Troy Cooper and Chris Downs combined a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts, and Brady Werther had three hits for Hart.
9 Newbury Park, Ventura 0: Seven pitchers combined into a three-hitter for Newbury Park. Tyler Field had two hits and two RBIs.
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 10, Heritage Christian 0: Sarah Jacobs hit six in four innings for the Knights.
Source : www.latimes.com