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Cougars survive comeback for Major victory

Baseball: Foothill Tommy's rallies from five runs back, but Vaquero scores last in 6-5 win.

June 18, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk,

TUJUNGA — After seeing a five-run lead go up in smoke, the Vaquero Cougars Major Baseball team was able to put out the fire of Foothill Tommy's comeback bid in the Tri-Cities District 16 Tournament of Champions Friday night at Tujunga Little League Fields.

Foothill rallied for a five-spot in the bottom of the fourth, only to see the Cougars come right back with the winning run in the top of the fifth and advance in the tournament with a 6-5 victory.

"It really showed a lot for my Cougars," said Cougars Coach Geo Ceballos, whose team will play at Babe Herman Monday at 7:30 p.m. "It was great, we played small ball and that's what got us all those runs."


The Cougars came out hard trying to get the lead back in the top of the fifth, opening with a single by David Piedra and a bunt back to the mound by Gavin Burciaga on which the pitcher couldn't make a play. But Piedra was out trying to take third on the play for the first out.

After a strikeout by Tommy's pitcher Austin Lee against the first batter he faced in relief of David Bernal, Tommy's looked to be out of the inning on a soft ground ball, but a dropped ball at first base prolonged the inning and allowed Burciaga to score the go-ahead run from second base.

Cougars' pitcher Orlando Diaz struck out the side in the fifth and retired Tommy's in order in the sixth to earn the save.

Facing a 5-0 deficit, Tommy's got something going in the bottom of the fourth when Cameron Penza led off with a double over third base, Bernal walked and Lee was hit by a pitch.

That was the end of Cougars starter Nick Morgan's night, as he yielded to lefty reliever Arturo Gonzalez after allowing one earned run on two hits in three-plus innings, Gonzalez induced a fly-ball first out, but then allowed a single to center field by Jalani Ligons that got Tommy's on the board, 5-1.

Then, the wheels fell off for the Cougars, as a throwing error on a fielder's choice groundout by Davis Mieliwocki cleared the bases and put the tying run 90 feet from the plate. Mieliwocki scored on the very next pitch, a wild offering.

"We've been battling back all year long," Tommy's Coach David Bernal said. "Evey game we've won all year, we've come back and I expect to battle from behind and win."

Bernal worked out of a jam in the top of the first inning after putting runners at first and third with one out on a bunt single followed by an eight-pitch walk, getting out of the inning with a strikeout and a groundout to short.

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