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St. Francis walks off with upset victory

Baseball: Olmedo-Barrera delivers walk-off hit with two outs in bottom of seventh to lead Knights to 5-4 win over No. 2 Chaminade.

April 06, 2011|By Grant Gordon,

PASADENA — Perhaps when St. Francis High No. 9 batter PJ Dezotell — all five feet and seven inches of him — stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and his team down a run, Chaminade and its ace, Mathew Troupe, breathed a sigh of relief.

But six pitches later, Dezotell singled and breathed life into St. Francis' chances.

Two batters later, David Olmedo-Barrera sent a pitch into left-center field and subsequently sent his Golden Knights into a delirium, as St. Francis upended No. 2-ranked Chaminade, 5-4, walking off with a dramatic Mission League upset on Tuesday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Field.

"It doesn't get any better than that," said St. Francis Coach Brian Esquival, whose team improved to 8-5 overall and 3-2 in league with the win over the team ranked second in CIF Southern Section Division II. "Win or lose, that's a great game."


Chaminade (8-3, 4-1 in league) brought with it a previously undefeated league mark and the right-handed Troupe, a much-ballyhooed standout who had no less than a dozen scouts at Jackie Robinson to watch him.

Troupe pitched into the seventh, when Dezotell worked a 3-2 count and singled to left field with two outs and the Golden Knights trailing, 4-3.

"PJ just put the bat on the ball and came up really clutch," Olmedo-Barrera said.

Leadoff man JP Nolan followed and drew a walk after falling behind, 0-2, in the count. Meanwhile, Dezotell stole second and took third on a wild pitch. Nolan's at-bat would signal Troupe's end, with Chaminade summoning left-handed reliever Kevin Lewallyn to face the left-handed Olmedo-Barrera.

"I'm one of those guys that really wants to be in that situation," said Olmedo-Barrera, a reigning All-Mission League and All-Area selection. "I was just hoping JP would get on so I could get up."

Olmedo-Barrera got his wish and delivered, sending the first pitch he was offered to the opposite-field gap, immediately scoring Dezotell before Nolan followed with the game-winner, touching home plate almost simultaneously as Olmedo-Barrera strode around second. Seconds later, he was mobbed by teammates.

"It's a huge win," said Olmedo-Barrera, who had three of his team's eight hits and also scored a run in a pivotal fourth inning. "It came at the right time and just puts us in really good position. Hopefully we can just keep up this good energy."

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