Steal sinks Rebels in league loss

Rio Hondo Prep steals home to knock off Flintridge Prep baseball.

April 23, 2009|By Grant Gordon

With virtually all of the teams in the Prep League jockeying for playoff berths, small ball couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Rebels during their league contest against the host Kares on Saturday afternoon.

Flintridge Prep saw Rio Hondo Prep’s Jason Sterris score the winning run when he swiped home plate with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning to help the Kares post a 3-2 come-from-behind victory.

Sterris, who had tried to steal home earlier in the inning, broke for home again as Flintridge Prep relief pitcher Ben Slyngstad delivered a pitch that sailed past catcher Will Peterman.


“We knew that Rio Hondo Prep can be a small-ball team in that they steal well and bunt,” Peterman said. “Sometimes, you are going to have to expect that kind of play.

“I saw [Sterris] coming with Ben in the windup, and I didn’t make the play.”

With the loss, Flintridge Prep (9-4 and 4-3 in league) remains in second place in league behind Pasadena Poly (5-1 in league). The Kares, who had lost the first two meetings this season against the Rebels, moved into third place in league. The top three teams advance to the playoffs in May.

Ninth-year Flintridge Prep Coach Buzz Cook said the Rebels played well, but fell short in their quest to sweep the Kares.

“I’m disappointed with the outcome, but not the effort,” said Cook, who got run-scoring singles in the first inning from Aaron Fried and Slyngstad to grab a 2-0 lead against Rio Hondo Prep pitcher J.T. Parker. “J.T. settled down after the first inning.

“I told them to not be disappointed by the effort. If they can do that, then you’ll never hear me complain.”

The Kares, who suffered an 11-1 loss to the Rebels on Thursday at the Glendale Sports Complex, scored a run in the second against Flintridge Prep starting pitcher Royce Park (3-3) to make it 2-1. They then knotted the game, which took two hours to complete, at 2 on a run-scoring single by Ed Drain.

Park, a right-hander, who struck out four in five-plus innings, then became wild to begin the sixth. He hit Sterris and Ed Garcia before walking Chris Llamas to load the bases with no outs. Cook then summoned Slyngstad, who struck out the next two batters. Then Sterris stole home plate to complete the scoring.

“Ben had come in and did a fantastic job,” said Cook, whose team had four hits. “Even if Will catches the ball on the steal of home, it’s likely going to be a close play.

“We are now 4-3 in league, and we are going to need some help if there’s any chance of catching [Pasadena Poly].”

The Rebels put the tying run on first in the seventh, as Parker hit Connor McCann with a pitch. Fried then belted a long drive to deep left that Jimmy Davis grabbed on the run.

Fried walked back to the dugout in disbelief, capping what would be a frustrating game for the Rebels.

Flintridge Prep right fielder Nick Ostiller kept the game tied at 2 with a superb defensive effort. Fighting a slight wind and a late-afternoon sun, Ostiller made a circus catch down the line to end the fifth.

La Canada Valley Sun Articles La Canada Valley Sun Articles