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La Cañada High baseball defeats Temple City in 'sloppy' fashion

Baseball: Spartans keep half-game lead in Rio Hondo League with comeback 9-7 victory over Rams.

April 26, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

LA CAÑADA — Pretty or ugly, all that matters for the La Cañada High baseball team is winning, as it holds a narrow lead atop the rest of the Rio Hondo League with two games left in its regular season.

The Spartans pulled out what was described by their coach Alex Valadez as a “sloppy, extremely sloppy” 9-7 league win over Temple City at home Friday.

“It’s kind of gone both ways a little bit right now, and all I can say is I’m happy we’re on the good side of it,” chuckled Valadez, whose team improved to 12-6, 7-3 in league to maintain a slim lead over second-place Monrovia (15-4, 5-3), which has four games left in league.

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The win wasn’t pretty, as each side was guilty of a number of miscues. Walks (12), hit by pitches (nine) and errors (eight) all equaled or were greater than the amount of hits (eight) both teams combined for in the game, which also included two balks.

“This year probably,” said La Cañada’s Johnny Selsor, who had the biggest hit of the game, when asked if Friday was the ugliest game he’s played. “The pitchers walked a lot of people and then we weren’t making plays in the field. Somehow, we turned it around and got some hits, scored some runs.”

Selsor drove in the two winning runs with a two-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Spartans came into the frame down, 7-4, and received a helping hand or two that lifted them back in the game.

Three errors, two hit pitches and a walk led to the Spartans tying the game at 7 in the fifth. Selsor’s single, which came right after a pitching change, was the only hit of the frame.

The junior lined the ball past a diving shortstop and into left field to score two and put La Cañada back in front, 9-7, after Clayton Herrmann executed a beautiful hook slide at home to evade the tag.

“We were waiting for that clutch hit and Johnny stepped up and drove us in,” Herrmann said. “It was just one of those moments where you needed a spark to get going and Johnny was there.”

Herrmann then came in to pitch the final two innings. While the senior allowed just a walk in the sixth, the sloppy play displayed in the six previous innings continued in the seventh, as an error, hit batter and single loaded the bases with two outs.

Herrmann settled down and left the bases loaded, striking out the final batter looking for his third punchout of the game.

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