By GERARDO RECINOS
A long-standing joke amongst baseball people is that a game could literally go forever. Unlike in most sports, the lack of a clock can turn a game from finite, to infinite.
And while that will never happen, Alhambra and Clayton Valley Charter’s baseball boys decided the championship game of the Easter Tournament six days after the first pitch of the game was officially thrown.
Now obviously the two teams didn’t play six straight days of baseball before arriving at the 2-1 result in favor of the Ugly Eagles.
The result was settled after a rain-soaked Thursday, April 6th game was abandoned in the second inning, with the Bulldogs down a run.
Fast forward six days, and the Bulldogs made a serious push for handing the Eagles their first loss of the season.
Right from the get go in the restarted game, the Bulldogs made their intentions clear: they weren’t intimidated by the gaudy record.
Five-hole hitter Garrett Swartz served as the de-facto lead off hitter, and doubled down the line with the first pitch thrown. Three pitches later, first baseman Marshall Stanghellini sliced a single the opposite way and the Bulldogs evened things up.
Reprising his role on the mound, senior Jordyn Eglite was solid in his role. He allowed three hits and one run, which would’ve been enough had it not been for the one scored off him six days earlier.
But again he was unlucky to come off with the loss as his team struggled to make any noise against Clayton Valley’s sidewinder Matt Freeman.
The senior wasn’t overpowering, and didn’t have the most command, but he did manage to strand a pair of runners in the third inning. He struck out two hitters looking to get out of the jam.
Freeman didn’t last much longer, but the reliever they brought in for him also had some funkiness to his delivery. Junior Mitchell Hoffer threw a short-arm ball that seemed to get on hitters quicker than it looked. His fastball wasn’t blazing, yet he managed to throw 3 1/3 scoreless innings, and only allowed two base runners.
His performance went toe-to-toe with Eglite’s.
Unfortunately Eglite had already been tagged with a run on April 6th before allowing another in the fifth inning.
Junior Doug Bermudez hit a towering double into center field to set the inning up, and with two outs he was knocked in by senior first baseman Vince Lontz on a single up the middle.
The Bulldogs only mustered two base runners in the following two innings, and although the Ugly Eagles didn’t manage to cause more damage at the plate, the line had been drawn.
Both teams wanted this one badly, and both were fired up. Chirping between the two dug outs between innings set up what will surely be an exciting trilogy between these two teams.
The Bulldogs and Eagles will meet again in two weeks again at Knowles Field on April 25, before what could possibly be a rubber match in Concord exactly one month after the results of the championship game of the Easter Tournament.
Clayton Valley, who is currently undefeated, will be one of the favorites to compete for the Diablo Athletic League crown at the end of the season.