After falling at home to West Torrance, 9-2, in the first of two Bay League baseball meetings between Peninsula and the Warriors on April 19, the Panthers used a strong pitching performance by Sammy Moore and a clutch hit from Ed Haus for a 5-3 victory last Thursday at West.
On the mound, Moore hurled a complete game five-hitter, struck out eight batters and walked two to increase his record to 6-1.
Moore also excelled with the bat, going 2-for-3 with three runs batted in and two runs scored. His three RBI’s came in the top of the fourth inning when he blasted a three-run home run over the center field fence to give Peninsula (12-6-1 overall and 3-1 in league) a 3-1 lead.
After the Warriors (10-10-1, 3-1) appeared to be headed for a sweep over the Panthers, who entered last week ranked fourth in the CIF-Southern Section Division II, with a 1-0 lead through four innings and their starting pitcher, Collin Nelson, retiring the first nine Peninsula batters, Tony Poncia broke up Nelson’s perfect game bid with a base hit to right field.
Mark Okuma, then, hit a sharp line drive to West left fielder Shun Tayama, who made a shoe-string catch, but Teddy Dilts hit a one-hopper over the left field fence for a ground rule double, putting runners at second and third base with one out.
The Panthers, though, would let their two-run lead get away in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run double by Teddy Kerwin, driving home Johnny Palmer and Austin Watters.
The Warriors nearly took the lead as Juan Correa beat out Poncia’s throw to first base. With pinch runner Justin Yapelli taking off from third base, Dilts popped out, then Poncia threw to catcher Justin Hertzman to tag out Yapelli to complete a double play.
Peninsula, then, came back with two runs in the top of the seventh on a run-scoring single by Haus and a sacrifice fly from Hertzman to regain its two-run lead.
After Shun Tayama reached first base on an error with one out, Moore proceeded to get Daniel Timmerman to fly out to right field and Joey Notch to pop out to first base preserving the Panthers’ win to leave them in a three-way tie for first place in the Bay League with West and Redondo, which lost its first Bay game to Palos Verdes 7-2 last Friday at Redondo. It was also the Sea Kings’ first league win after two losses to rival Peninsula on April 13 and 15, and a 4-2 home loss to the Sea Hawks on April 20.
Palos Verdes is 14-8 overall and 1-3 in Bay action, while Redondo is 12-11 overall and 3-1 in league. In the Redondo Tournament semifinals last Saturday at Redondo, the Sea Hawks were routed by Torrance, 11-1.
Torrance downs El Segundo: Torrance High’s baseball team used a four-run third inning to defeat El Segundo 5-1 in a key Pioneer League baseball game last Friday at Torrance Park.
With the game tied at one entering the bottom of the third, the Tartars (18-5, 6-0, ranked fifth in the Southern Section Division IV) had a two-run home run by Tyrone Taylor and a two-run single from Ralph Ramirez and that was all Torrance needed. Winning pitcher Anthony Konders hurled a complete game three-hitter.
Key series will continue through this week as West Torrance will have two Bay games against Redondo. The Warriors host the Sea Hawks Wednesday at 3:15 p.m., then Redondo is at home against West Friday at 7 p.m. The Sea Hawks will seek to recover two blowout losses to Palos Verdes and Torrance after having a good run, winning five consecutive games prior to that.
The Bay, though, is very highly competitive with five of six teams having a shot at the league title.
After a five-game losing streak and two losses to West Torrance from April 13 and 15, Mira Costa (14-9, 2-2) came through and crushed a hapless Lawndale Leuzinger squad, which is 0-17 overall and 0-4 in league, by 22-0 and 14-0 scores last week. The Mustangs, who won the Bay last season, have two games against Peninsula, on the road on Wednesday and at home on Friday. Both contests begin at 3:15 p.m.
In the Pioneer League, eyes will be on the cross town rival series between North Torrance and South Torrance. The Saxons are off to a 4-0 league start by sweeping the Pioneer’s expected two bottom teams from Lawndale and Compton Centennial. After back-to-back losses to powerful Torrance, the Spartans came back by easily winning two games over Lawndale, 13-3 and 4-0, last week.
South will have its home game against North on Wednesday and the Saxons host the Spartans Friday. Both league games start at 3:15 p.m.
Snyder’s South Bay Top 10 Baseball: 1. Torrance (Pioneer), 2. Peninsula (Bay), 3. Banning (Marine), 4. South Torrance (Pioneer), 5. San Pedro (Marine), 6. West Torrance (Bay), 7. Redondo (Bay), 8. Narbonne (Marine), 9. Mira Costa (Bay), 10. Rolling Hills Prep (Harbor).