La Serna tops rivals in early baseball action
WHITTIER — With two exciting games in the first week of Del Rio League baseball action, La Serna High School is off to a 2-0 start with wins over Cal and Santa Fe.
La Serna (5-6, 2-0) won both games by identical, 3-2 scores, with both in a come-from-behind fashion.
Against Cal last Friday, the Lancers trailed, 2-0 in the sixth before scoring three runs to take the lead, 3-2 and held on for their initial win in league.
The second game saw the Lancers score a run in the bottom of the ninth inning for a walk-off 3-2 win over Santa Fe.
“We started out 2-6 and we’re just competing and fighting,” La Serna baseball coach Anthony Gonzales, Jr. said. “In the last three games, we’ve scored late in all three.”
In the final preseason game before league, the Lancers scored five runs in the last two innings to beat local rival La Habra, 5-0.
Gonzales, Jr. reflected on a typical Cal-La Serna contest after the game.
“It went like a normal Cal High-La Serna game, with the rivalry intense all the way through,” he said. “Neither team is ever down in these games and we proved it.
“We got three quality innings from our starter (Justin Verdugo), who kept us in the ball game. Our pitching knows that eventually our hitting’s going to figure it out. Giovanni Guido came in and shut the door.”
Guido relieved Verdugo in the fourth and went the final four innings for the win.
Leading the way for La Serna was senior Aaron Anguiano (2 for 3) with two hits, a run scored, two RBIs and a stolen base.
Cal (3-4, 0-1) was led by senior Isaac Herrera (2-4) with two hits (single and a triple), one run scored and an RBI.
Junior pitcher Noah Castillo started and went four innings, allowing only two hits, no runs and struck out three for the Condors.
Sophomore Devin Fernandez (0-2) took the loss for Cal, pitching the final two innings..
Host Cal High scored its only runs of the game in the third inning, as Herrera tripled to left field, scoring senior Alex Reynozo (1-2), and Herrera came home with the second run to lead, 2-0, on an infield error by La Serna.
The score stayed that way until the sixth as the Lancers scored three runs.
Freshman Jake Long (1-3) opened the inning with a single to right field. Junior Jacob Robledo pinch ran for Long and advanced to second on a single by junior Derek Cruz (1-2). Freshman Nick Allred ran for Cruz, who along with Robledo was sacrificed by Guido to second and third, respectively.
Anguiano singled in both Robledo and Allred to tie the game, 2-2. Anguiano later came home with the go-ahead run on a double to center field by senior Danny Delucas (1-3, RBI) for the 3-2 lead.
Cal threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the inning with Fernandez (1-3) opening the inning with a single and eventually being stranded at third after third baseman Blake Clay made a nice play and recorded the third out with Guido pitching.
“It was intense but I knew I would get out of it and I knew my guys had my back and hopefully get a ground ball,” Guido said.
Guido retired the final three Cal batters in the bottom of the seventh for the win.
“The game didn’t go the way we wanted to,” Cal coach Kyle Pine said. “It kind of stumbled out of control in the (sixth) inning and found ourselves down, 3-2.
“While La Serna got us (Wednesday), we’re expecting we’re going to get them next time we face them.”
In the extra-inning game against Santa Fe on Wednesday (Mar. 11), the Lancers were trailing, 2-0, until the bottom of the seventh, when they scored twice to tie it 2-2 and send it into extras.
Guido (1-3, R) and Anguiano (1-2, R, RBI) hit back-to-back doubles, as Guido scored and Anguiano came home on a single to left by Delucas (1-3, R, RBI, SB).
The winning run came home in the bottom of the ninth with Delucas at third, who came home on a squeeze play up the first-base line by Michael Vasquez.
Guido (3-2, 2-0) was also the winning pitcher, his second in as many games for La Serna.
La Serna will host Whittier Friday, while Cal will host Santa Fe.