For the La Sierra HS varsity baseball team, this season had all of the makings of something special, a possible dream come true. Not the biggest roster in terms of height or weight, the Eagles always looked the part of the underdog in the opposing dugout. Yet time after time this year, the speed, timely hitting, and impeccable pitching of the Eagles pushed them to victory in River Valley League play. And after a dominating first round CIF win on Tuesday, La Sierra looked 2nd seeded Summit square in the eye and didn’t flinch… until the 4th.
It was there that Summit lead off with a towering double to left field off of Eagle starting pitcher Robert Chagolla. After advancing to third on the throw, the Skyhawks tagged from 3rd on a flyball to left. The throw from left fielder Jakob Hernandez was on the money and appeared to beat the runner to the plate, but once the dust settled after the slide and tag, the ball rolled on the ground behind the play and Summit had its first lead.
La Sierra would respond in the bottom of the 5th with 3 sharp singles and 2 runs to take the lead. And with Chagolla dealing for real, it looked like this lead might hold up… until it didn’t. In the 6th, Summit began the inning with a sharp single, placing the tying run on first, and bringing Gerrardo Cruz to the plate as the potential go ahead run. After working a 3-2 count and fouling off 2 straight pitches, Cruz deposited the next fast ball beyond the trees in left field for a seismic 2-run blast, giving Summit a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The bottom half of the 7th saw the Eagles put two runners on base with a single and a double, but questionable base running left the Eagles wanting, ending their season where it began, at home in front of their faithful followers. Both teams exchanged hand shakes at the conclusion, and the Skyhawks left the scene of the theft, taking the Eagle hearts with them, as they set their sights on Mary Star on Friday.