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Arroyo Seco Saints march on to Palomino West Zone tournament

Baseball: St. Francis, CV, GCC players key 4-0 win for SoCal Palomino title.

July 25, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com
  • Elliot Surrey scores a run for the Arroyo Seco Saints during Tuesday's game against the Arcadia Astros at Jackie Robinson Field.
Elliot Surrey scores a run for the Arroyo Seco Saints during… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

PASADENA — Elliot Surrey patiently defused a potentially explosive situation on the mound for the Arroyo Seco Saints before teammate Tei Vanderford dropped a bomb on the Arcadia Astros in Tuesday night's Palomino League Southern California Region championship game at Jackie Robinson Field.

The UC Irvine-bound Surrey, a recent Crescenta Valley High graduate, doubled and scored a run and nailed down a two-inning save in the 4-0 win that included a key two-run triple from St. Francis' Vanderford in the sixth inning.

The win vaulted the Saints, who are coached by St. Francis Coach Aaron Milam and feature players from CV, St. Francis and Glendale Community College, into the West Zone tournament as the region's top seed, where they will open play against the Lacey Rainiers of Washington on at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton.

"It was real good baseball," Milam said of his team's shutout effort. "You get to this level and that's what you get, these guys are going on to college and you expect good baseball from them. We're happy the way that it worked out."

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Surrey relieved Saints starter Corey Copping, who tossed five sharp innings with just one hit allowed, in the top of the sixth with a 2-0 lead, but was immediately greeted with some bad luck.

Leadoff batter Nick Wagner's soft flare over first base found a patch of grass between three converging Saints fielders for a single and even though Surrey had Wagner dead to rights on a pickoff throw moments later, the Astros catcher ended up on second base with no outs by way of a throwing error.

A ground ball moved Wagner to third with one out, but Surrey kept the shutout intact by rallying from a 3-1 count to strike out Nolan Henley swinging before catching Martin Gallegos looking for the final out of the inning.

"Errors will happen in a game, you can't really avoid those," said Surrey, who allowed a hit and a walk while striking out three in his two innings of work. "You just have to let it go and just keep working and just work your way out of the situation pitch by pitch. We put ourselves in that situation, so we have to use teamwork to get out of it."

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