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Lightning strike late to win nonleague game

Sage Hill baseball team scores four runs in the bottom of the seventh, thanks mainly to costly errors by Saddleback Valley Christian.

March 14, 2014|By David Carrillo Peñaloza | By David Carrillo Peñaloza

The fashion in which the Sage Hill School baseball team walked off the field Friday wasn't pretty.

Nevertheless, the host school will take the result, a 10-9 walk-off win against Saddleback Valley Christian.

"I couldn't believe it," Sage Hill Coach Dominic Campeau said of watching his team rally for four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, two errors leading to the first and last runs. "If you're going to play ugly, and you get the win, it's always a positive. It's not the effort. Our guys play hard. It's just the fact that we didn't play well. We played sloppy.

"It's like nobody wanted to win this game."

The visitors walked four batters, committed two errors and hit one batter, all in the bottom of the seventh, allowing Sage Hill to steal the nonleague game.

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The three times Sage Hill (4-1) put the ball in play, Saddleback Valley Christian's infield couldn't catch the ball, turn a double play, or field a routine grounder in the seventh. The last miscue cost the Warriors (1-2) any chance of at least sending the game into extra innings.

With the bases loaded and two outs, Conner Bock's groundball to the second baseman was misplayed. Bock hustled up the first-base line and beat the throw. The game-winning run crossed the plate and the Lightning rushed the field, in Bock's direction.

Bock, who went two for five with a double, made contact and the defense failed to make the play. The sophomore made up for his earlier work on the mound.

"We have faith in him. He has good stuff. He's just got trouble with his location right now," Campeau said of Bock, who started and gave up five earned runs, walked six, hit one, struck out one, and allowed one hit. "[The walks] put us in [a 5-1] hole a little bit early, but then our defense didn't help us out either. We messed up a lot on defense [with four errors].

"At the end, [the Warriors] were trying to win it all with their horse [Caleb Ward] and he ran out of steam. Then they had to deal with the same situation [we dealt with earlier]."

Each of the team's left-handed pitchers struggled finding the strike zone, Bock at the start and Ward at the end. Ward, who came in relief of starter Rob Hill in the fifth, couldn't shut the door on the Lightning. In 2 2/3 innings, he walked five, hit two, and allowed four earned runs and three hits.

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