Last Update: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
|Dons Walk Past Wolves to Take Division II Final Disastrous Fifth Inning Enables Dorsey To Dethrone Van Nuys|
|Written by Mike Terry|
|Thursday, 12 June 2014 01:22|
Can’t Believe It’s Over — .
Van Nuys shortstop Brian Crespin is consoled by a teammate after the Wolves lost to Dorsey in the City Section Division II final.
Van Nuys was a wonderful story last year, winning the City Division II title for its first baseball championship in 54 years. You wouldn't think the Wolves would be in a hurry to give up the crown; but they are no longer champions.
Van Nuys (20-10) had a horrific meltdown against Dorsey of Los Angeles in the 2014 Division II championship game on June 7, giving the Dons eight runs on just two hits. That’s right, two hits. How is that possible? Because the Wolves defense also threw in two errors while pitchers Raul Pacheco, Gabriel Yllescas and Andrew Yllescas contributed a hit batter and five walks.
The disaster that was the fifth inning turned a 4-1 Van Nuys lead into a 9-4 Dorsey spread, and the Dons went on to a 9-6 victory at Dodger Stadium.
As mortifying as it was for Van Nuys, the No. 2 seed, to have to play through that inning, you can imagine the pain being felt by Wolves Coach Alfredo Avila and his staff having to sit there and watch their team’s opportunity to repeat as champions unravel so thoroughly and definitively.
“What can you do? “We have one bad inning,” Avila said afterward. “Take that inning out and we’re probably celebrating.”
Instead it was the Dons (22-4), the top seed, who were preening and shouting.
Not that Dorsey will want to replay that final over and over. The Dons had more errors (5) than hits (4) in the game, and in the early going appeared to be the team that would implode.
Their one talking point afterward would be starting pitcher Whitney Noah and catcher David Lamas switching positions in the top of the fourth.
Going into the bottom of the fourth Van Nuys was sitting on a 4-0 lead and starting pitcher Cesar Miranda, who had yet to give up a hit, seemed in control. Except for one thing. Miranda was throwing a lot of pitches — 47 after three innings — and was starting to wear down. In the fourth he lasted five batters and 18 more pitches, giving up a single and two walks with two out to load the bases before giving way to Pacheco.
That was fine, Avila said. He was not expecting a compete game from Miranda. “We were going to let him go as far as he could take us” then bring in Pacheco (5-3), the team’s top starter, to finish up.
Pacheco unwittingly provided an ominous sign of things to come when he walked Ullses Estrada to force in a run. But he ended the threat getting Ryder Lee to pop out to third.
Then came the fifth, where the script flipped, and Dorsey literally walked away with the championship.
“I just told [his players] they were just sluggish because it was overcast and it would be okay when the sun came out,” Dorsey Coach Peter Dobson said, tongue firmly in cheek.
It was the Don’s third title in school history, and the first since beating San Fernando in 1958 It was their first finals appearance since losing to Venice in 1972 — a span of 42 years.
That number, 42, has a special meaning to Dobson since it was worn by Jackie Robinson, who broke the modern day color line with the then Brooklyn (now Los Angeles) Dodgers.
“Forty-two years is a long time,” Dobson said. “I told [the media] ’42’ might be a lucky number for us being I’m a black man.
“I didn't know how good these kids would be. But my other coach (Charles Bearden) said there was something about them we couldn't put our finger on…they wanted to play baseball. Now hopefully we can make it a bigger program. Dorsey has a rich baseball history. Today was stepping stone to getting back there.”
All that was left for Avila was to try and figure why the plate disappeared on his pitchers, who issued a total of 11 walks for the game.
“It look like we might have had some bad calls, but he’s the umpire, that’s why they pay him the money,” the coach said. “I don’t know. I didn't think Pacheco struggled that much, by we also didn't play good defense behind him.
“We maybe could have gone a little farther with Miranda, but he did look tired and we had to go with our ace. But Dorsey is also a pretty good team.