By Steve Breazeale
With two men on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the JSerra baseball team’s once mighty lead over El Camino Real looked like it was in jeopardy. The Conquistadors had shrunk JSerra’s seven-run lead down to two and Lion’s relief pitcher Lyle Lin took over in the pressure-packed situation that would determine which team would advance to tonight’s championship game in the Boras Classic.
Lin needed just 10 pitches to induce two groundouts and a strikeout to end the threat and secure a 10-8 victory for JSerra.
The Lions (9-2, 1-0 league) will play Mira Costa in the tournament championship tonight at Mater Dei at 6 p.m.
JSerra jumped all over El Camino Real starting pitcher Jonathan Berg in a seven-run second inning. JSerra recorded six hits and drew two walks in the inning. Davis Wendzel provided a bases clearing double that scored three runs to cap off the scoring rally.
Wendzel went 2 for 3 at the plate and hit a solo home run in the fifth to extend JSerra’s lead to 8-1.
But El Camino showed plenty of fight in the late stages of the game, especially when facing two outs.
The Conquistadors scored all five of their sixth-inning runs with two outs. The JSerra defense turned a double play at the start of the sixth, but El Camino Real sent seven additional batters to the plate following the big defensive play. The Conquistadors strung together four hits and two walks in the sixth inning and cut the lead to 10-8 after a two-run double by Jake Baer.
Mira Costa defeated Damien, Mater Dei and JW North, respectively, to reach the tournament finals.