Sports

Unsettled outcome


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View’s Tommy Cruz smiles after being ruled safe at second base, to the displeasure of Los Altos’ Taylor Musick.

First came the run, then came the rain in Thursday’s extra-inning baseball game between rival high schools Los Altos and Mountain View. The teams played to a scoreless tie until the top of the ninth inning, when the Eagles’ Ben Parker drove home Max Higareda.

Then the drizzle turned into steady rain, and the umpires called the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division game before the host Spartans could get their chance at bat. The game may or may not be continued later in the season, according to Mountain View coach Kris Mims, who added that it would likely go down as a tie unless the result would impact the league standings.

“The guys played their hearts out. ... It’s not fun to walk away from such an effort not knowing if you’ve won or lost,” Los Altos coach Gabe Stewart said. “But that’s the reality. It’s a safety issue. It was just getting too wet. I was really worried about the pitchers.”

Mims said the umpires should have stopped the game even earlier.

“The game should have been called in the top of the ninth as the rain was dumping in buckets. It was hard to see and the umpire was struggling to keep the balls dry at that point,” he said. “Not to mention, it was getting dark.”

The coach added that the conditions factored into the run Los Altos scored. With two outs, Mountain View’s right fielder dropped a fly ball hit by Higareda because he couldn’t “see the ball in the weather,” Mims said.

Higareda stole second base and the next batter, Taylor Musick, walked. Parker hit a line drive that the Spartans’ center fielder appeared to trap as he slid to make the catch. The umpire ruled that the ball hit the ground and Higareda’s run stood.

“Unfortunately, the umpire couldn’t see it too well, but I thought our center fielder made a great catch,” Mountain View pitcher Joe Perrino said. “But it is what it is.”

Aidan Patterson – who relieved starter Perrino in the ninth – got out the next batter, leaving two Eagles on base. Perrino allowed three hits and struck out three.

“The boys competed and Joe did a good job hitting the spots,” Mims said.

Alex Reelfs pitched eight strong innings for Los Altos, limiting the Spartans to two hits. He recorded six strikeouts, all in the last three innings he pitched.

Reelfs got several outs on pop flies, which may have had to do with the windy conditions.

“But usually I’m a ground ball pitcher, so all my off-speed (pitches) will usually get them to hit on the ground,” Reelfs said. “We have a good infield, so we’ll make the plays when we need to. “

A day earlier, Mountain View made most of the plays in an 8-2 win at Los Altos. The Spartans jumped to an 8-0 lead by the fifth frame.

Bryan Rau earned the win; Cullen Blanchfield and Eric Wong tripled for Mountain View. Parker hit a late homer for the Eagles.

Due to spring break this week, the Spartans (5-4 league, 13-5-1 overall) and Eagles (4-5, 11-7-1) don’t play until Saturday against non-league opponents. Mountain View is slated to host Willow Glen (13-3 overall) at 11:30 a.m. and Los Altos is scheduled to visit Branham (6-9) at noon.

View images from the April 5 game on PhotoShelter.

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