Pacific Grove and St. Francis split a pair of walk-off wins on Tuesday

Courtesy of Brian Wood:

PGHS and St Francis played a home and away set of games on Tuesday (April 3) both resulting in walk-off wins for the home team.

Pacific Grove JV hosted St. Francis and got on the board in the first after putting together four singles by Jordan Booker, Zach Malone, Chad Ventimiglia, and Chianti Carter for a 1-0 lead. Starting pitcher Booker kept St. Francis off the board through three innings with eight strike outs on the day.

The Junior Sharks took the lead, however, with a 2-spot in the fourth inning and three in the fifth for a 5-1 lead. In the home half of the sixth PG drew within one after a double by Malone, single by Ventimiglia, and triple by Carter (his third hit of the day). Reliever JJ Courtney (who had a single himself during the game) shutdown St. Francis for the final 2 2/3 innings striking out four.

In the bottom of the seventh, with one out, and PG trailing 5-4, right fielder Clint Cargile singled and Booker moved him to third with a double.  Malone came to the plate with two outs and the winning run on second and singled up the middle scoring Booker to give the Breakers a 6-5 walk-off victory.

Unfortunately, PG was on the losing end of a 5-4 score against the St. Francis varsity in a game played in Watsonville.  The Breakers were led in the early going by starting pitcher Hunter Haines who shut down the opposing side for five innings, striking out seven, and allowing just one hit.

After three scoreless innings, PG tallied the first run in the fourth. Designated Hitter Nathan Wood led off with a walk.  Right fielder Dylan Graham (hit by pitch) and Hanes (error by the left fielder) proceeded to load the bases.  Walks to River Watts and left fielder Colby Burnell scored Wood and Graham to give PG a 2-0 lead.

In the fifth, third baseman Josh Mares led off with a single up the middle. Wood then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt up the first baseline to move Mares to second. A walk to shortstop Trevor Heyn and a single by Hanes to left loaded the bases (for the fourth time in five innings).  Catcher Daniel Rosas stepped to the plate and delivered a two-run single to right field driving in two runs for a 4-0 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, a St. Francis rally was quelled with the help of two fine defensive plays. Rosas gunned down a runner attempting to steal second; Heyn applying the tag. With runners on first and second and two outs the Sharks batter hit a hard grounder to the right of first baseman Watts who speared it and tossed to pitcher Hanes who beat the runner to first by a half-step.

St. Francis bats came alive in the sixth inning scoring two runs and an additional two more in the seventh to send the game into extra innings.  The score remained tied going into the bottom of the ninth as sunset approached.  With runners on first and second and no outs the St. Francis batter hit a grounder to second baseman Connor Marshall who tossed it to the shortstop for the force out. Unfortunately the relay to first could not be handled and the error allowed the runner advancing to third to continue home with the winning run. St. Francis is now 5-3 on the season.

PG’s offense was marked by missed opportunities.  They left 14 runners on base during the game including 11 in scoring position.

Both PG teams face Palma on Friday (April 6) at 4pm.  The Varsity (4-7) play host while the JVs (5-4) travel to Salinas.

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