Sacred Heart Prep battled St. Ignatius evenly for four innings before the Wildcats pushed a run across in the top of the fifth and held on for a 4-3 win in the championship game of the Tim Kuehnert Memorial Tournament on Monday at Sacred Heart Prep.
Robert Larson and Alec Bradford combined on a five-hitter for SHP, which nonetheless dropped to 3-2 and next will host Harbor in a nonleague game Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
In nonleague action, Brett Moriarty's two-out walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Jordan Long with the game-winner as Menlo-Atherton edged Leland, 6-5, at Bettencourt Field. The victory -- the Bears' second consecutive walk-off win -- improved M-A's record to 5-1, while Leland dipped to 4-3. M-A has now won four straight games.
With the game knotted at 5 in the bottom of the ninth, senior Lawson Joos reached on an error and stole second. Long then walked, giving M-A two baserunners with no outs. Joos then was forced out at third on Charlie Cain's sacrifice bunt attempt, with Long advancing to second. Long reached third after tagging up on Erik Amundson's fly ball out to deep right-center.
Moriarty then stroked a low line drive up the middle that deflected off the glove of Leland pitcher Josh Pederson. Long crossed the plate with the winning run, touching off yet another jubilant celebration for M-A.
Pitching in relief of AJ Lemons, Amundson (2-1) earned the victory, allowing no runs or hits over the final 1 2/3 innings. Amundson and three other M-A pitchers -- starter Matt McGarry and relief pitchers Leo McCabe and Lemons -- limited Leland to just six hits over nine innings.
The Bears received most of their offense from the first three hitters in the lineup -- Cain, Amundson, and Moriarty -- who went a combined 8-for-15 with two walks, four RBI, and three runs scored. Moriarty was 4-for-5 (including a double) with a walk and three RBI, while Cain and Amundson each went 2-for-5 (Amundson had an RBI double and two runs scored, and Cain also scored a run).
Long also had a highly productive day, going 1-for-2 (including a double) with three walks, two runs scored, and an RBI.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, M-A scored twice on Moriarty's RBI double to right and Josh Gabriel's RBI groundout. After Leland tied the game in the top of the second, the Bears grabbed the lead again on Amundson's ground-rule double to deep left-center, which scored Long, who had reached on an error.
M-A extended its lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth when Amundson singled, stole second, and scored on Moriarty's line-drive single to left. Leland tied the game 4-4 in the top of the fifth, but the Bears answered again in the bottom of the inning when Joos reached on an error and scored on Long's booming double to left-center.
Leland tied the game 5-5 in the top of the sixth inning, and the teams then battled over the next three innings until the dramatic finish in the bottom of the ninth. Both teams had many opportunities throughout the game, as evidenced by the number of stranded base runners for both teams. In all, M-A left 16 runners on base over nine innings, while Leland left 12.
The Bears will look to extend their four-game winning streak when they visit Sequoia on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Sacred Heart Prep finished third and Palo Alto 13th at the annual De La Salle Invitational on Monday at Diablo Country Club.
Sacred Heart Prep shot 392 as a team to take home a trophy, trailing only De La Salle (388) and Mitty (391). Paly shot 410 in the 24-team tournament.
SHP's Bradley Keller finished tied for sixth with an even-par 72. He got off to a sizzling start by going 3-under on his first four holes. Teammate Derek Ackerman used a 9-iron when he holed out from 150 yards out for an eagle 2 on the 15t hole and finished 2-under on his final four holes while tying for 11th with a 74.
Bradley Knox shot 76 and tied for 17th for the Gators with Taylor Oliver shooting 79 and tying for 34th. Shane Snow was the final SHP scorer, shooting 91 in his first high school tournament.
"All in all, it was a strong finish against a talented field," said SHP coach Mark Dowdy. "The kids are looking forward to the opportunity at the Wildcat Invitational (at the Meadow Club) on Monday."
Palo Alto was led by Matt Lewis, who tied for 41st with an 80. Sam Niethammer and Alex Hwang shot 82 with John Knowles and Patrick Fuery both shooting 83 to round out the Vikings' scoring.
Sacred Heart Prep opened its West Bay Athletic League season with an 18-5 romp over host Burlingame on Monday night. The Gators (1-0, 3-1) had goals from 10 different players, including five from sophomore Libby Muir. Seniors Kiana Cacchione and Caroline Cummings each tallied three times and senior Magan Lamb added two goals. Other scorers included Jane Meehan, Kelly Moran, Katie Lim, Allison Harman, Juliana Clark and Ally Mayle.
In Atherton, Menlo-Atherton defeated visiting Notre Dame-San Jose, 15-5, in nonleague action. The Bears jumped out to a 3-0 lead on two goals from junior Amanda Wiseman and never looked back. Grace Tully, Emma Easton and Izzy Regonini combined for five goals. The Bears' Kelly Woods and Elena Fox made key defensive stops.
Gunn made the most of a makeup game with visiting Castilleja on Monday as the Titans rolled to a 10-2 nonleague victory. The game originally was rained out last week. Gunn (3-1) broke the game open in the third with three runs. The Titans belted 10 hits, three of them by Katie Garvey, to support winning pitcher Iris Chin, who limited the Gators (0-3) to just two hits while striking out 13.
(Menlo-Atherton Baseball contributed)
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