The Mountain View High baseball team avoided a series sweep by league rival Los Altos Friday when Dwight Washington singled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth for a 6-5 home win.
Washington’s two-strike, two-out single came two days after the Eagles rallied in eight innings for a 7-6 home win over the Spartans (4-8 league, 8-12 overall).
Los Altos won three out of four games last week, picking up non-league victories at Westmont (1-0) and Branham (7-5). The Eagles are 3-7 in league and 7-12 overall.
Los Altos head coach Donnie Ecker said he’s seeing improvement from a team beset by injuries to players such as starting pitcher James Oleson and center fielder Thomas Keller.
“We are growing tremendously, especially over the past couple of weeks, and that’s all we can ask these kids to do,” Ecker said. “They’re giving us everything they have and we’ve got five (players) out of the lineup right now.”
Spartans head coach Zeph Zinsman said he was pleased with the way his team responded after the Eagles came back from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game in the top of the sixth. The Eagles cut the lead to 5-2 on a bases-loaded groundout from Max Wilber before adding runs on a throwing error, a bases-loaded walk to Adam Spielman and an RBI groundout from Austin Mahowald.
“That’s the mindset we’re trying to establish here,” Zinsman said. “There may be two strikes, there may be two outs, but we’ve still got one more strike left.”
With the game tied at 5, Eagles reliever Daniel Pefley found himself in trouble early in the sixth, giving up a one-out single to Reagan Mszanowski and back-to-back walks to load the bases. In came lefty Brennan Myers, who got two strikes on Washington before he singled to left field, scoring Mszanowski for a 6-5 lead.
Davis Atherton shut down the Eagles in the top of the seventh to pick up the win, allowing just one hit over one-and-two-thirds innings of work in relief of starter Nico Mayoral.
Eagles starting pitcher Trevor Rogers cruised through the first three innings, striking out four and allowing just one hit before the Spartans put together the five-run fourth inning.
Staked to a 1-0 lead on a first-inning RBI single by Chase Eller, Rogers gave up a leadoff double to Danny Malave, followed by an error and an RBI single from designated hitter Ashley Avery to tie the game. Mountain View later took a 4-1 lead on a run-scoring single from John McAlister and a two-run single from Clark Applegren. Nate Modderman later made it 5-1 with a two-out RBI double that scored Applegren.
“You really try to do the best to minimize the damage, but sometimes the wheels get going,” Ecker said. “We talk about it all the time. How can we put pressure on people and put them in a situation where they give up a big inning – and that’s what they did.”
Other baseball action
Pinewood last week beat Crystal Springs Uplands 6-1 and Jefferson 9-l, improving to 4-3 in the Peninsula Athletic League Lake Division and 7-3 overall.
St. Francis (16-3 overall) went 3-1 at last week’s Boras Baseball Classic in Sacramento.