For more than six innings Friday, West Ranch High played maybe the best baseball of what’s already been a season to write home about.
“Then there was a series of events that is difficult to explain,” said Wildcats coach Casey Burrill.
In short, the Wildcats endured a 20-minute delay, allowed a three-run score-tying rally by Hart and escaped with a 5-4 home win on Will Chambers’ walk-off sacrifice fly.
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“It was probably one of the more wild and enjoyable games I’ve been involved in, in a long time,” said Burrill, whose team is 15-6 overall and 8-1 in the Foothill League.
The game momentarily turned long and nerve-racking in the top of the seventh inning, with West Ranch leading 4-1.
With a man on first, one out and Wildcats ace Timmy Josten working on a three-hit gem, the home plate umpire started to feel dizzy.
After a paramedic looked him over, an ambulance was called and the base umpire changed into plate gear.
In all, it took 15 to 20 minutes. It took Hart (13-8, 5-4) about that long to unravel West Ranch’s would-be rout.
Kendall Thomas walked, and Cody Jefferis doubled in Matt Elser from second base.
Trever Coogan walked, and Cole Roederer hit an RBI single.
Then Jefferis came around to score and tie the score 4-4 on a West Ranch error.
“We were cruising,” Burrill said. “We felt really good about ourselves, up 4-1 going into the seventh inning.”
The frame wasn’t over.
Jovan Camacho led off with a bunt single. Nico Valdez laid down a would-be sacrifice bunt, but he beat Hart pitcher Brendan Henry to the bag.
After a wild pitch advanced the runners and Hart intentionally walked Christos Stefanos, Chambers stepped to the plate.
He promptly sent the ball to center field, and Camacho came storming home.
Camacho finished 2-for-4, while Stefanos was 2-for-3 with two RBIs for West Ranch, which blew the game open with three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Six different Indians recorded a hit, while Bryce Collins pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing four earned on five hits.
Golden Valley 5, Canyon 2
Captain Kanan threw a complete-game for the Grizzlies (7-12, 2-7). He allowed two runs on four hits, striking out three. Eddie Rodriguez went 2-for-3, while Gio Chaidez had two RBIs.
For Canyon (2-20, 1-8), Jacob Arguellez allowed one earned run over 4 2/3 innings.