Many Raindrops, but Few Hits Fall for Bonita in Title Tournament Game

April 8, 2009
Share this story:

bearcats-catWhile the raindrops had no trouble falling on Maverick Field in West Covina for the Northview Tournament championship game between Bonita and Charter Oak last night, getting base hits to fall from the Beatcats bats was another story. The Bearcats’ lumber did not thunder.

Credit Charter Oak’s Kenny Kissell for shutting down Bonita on a two-hitter, the only two hits coming from left fielder Anthony Ramos, a single in the top of the second and Jio Mier, a one-out double in the fourth.

From the outset, it appeared to be the Chargers’ night. In the bottom of the first, after a solid one-out single by tournament MVP Jake Bailey, Chris Allen lofted a ball to center that disappeared in the nighttime sky before falling back to the spottily-lit field untouched for another single, with Bailey advancing to third. Then a bad-hop single off the bat of Michael Hernandez plated Bailey before designated hitter D.J. Wallace also singled into right-centerfield, driving in Allen with the second run.

Aiding Charter Oak were three double plays. In the second, Bonita’s Corey Hare smashed a line drive into the hole at short, only to have shortstop Danny Tiffany spear it and double up Ramos at first. In the top of the fourth, after Mier doubled and pitcher Jason Plowman walked, designated hitter Evan Highley lined a shot up the middle that somehow Kissell snagged before calmly throwing over to first for an inning-ending double play.

In the fifth Bonita came knocking again, this time with some help from the Chargers. After Hare hit into Bonita’s third double play on the evening, the Chargers generously allowed Bonita’s Terry Paredez and Ryan Henley aboard courtesy of back-to-back infield errors, which brought up UCLA-bound leadoff hitter Jeff Gelalich. “Gello” hit a sharp grounder into the hole that second baseman Jonah Northrup ran down and threw to first for the final out.

The rains came, delayed the action with both teams leaving the field before play would resume. Charter Oak pushed across an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, on a walk, a wild pitch and an error. Plowman deserved better for his rain-soaked effort, but on this inclement night Charter Oak was better and perhaps hungrier after seeing Bonita defeat them, 2-1 at Bonita on March 27.

“Granted we made some errors, and you could easily say, the score could have been 0-0,” said coach John Knott. “But if you don’t score runs, you’re not going to win any games. Their pitcher Kissell pitched great. With runners in scoring position, he didn’t give in and he made our guys work. We hit some balls hard but happened to hit them right at them. It’s just unfortunate.

“There wasn’t any one play that changed the outcome,” Knott added. “We didn’t hit the ball like we could have. We just have to bounce back from this.”

Knott’s sized up Bonita’s make-up for the April-May run to the playoffs.

“Our pitchers are ahead of where they were last year,” Knott said. “We’ve had more complete games than I’ve ever had since I’ve been coaching. The pitchers’ arms are in shape, their minds are in shape, and as you know in baseball, it’s all about pitching. So, in that sense, we’re ahead. We still have to work offensively. We need tougher at bats.

“The strength of our team is still going to be pitching and defense.”

Bonita suits up this Friday at home against Los Altos at 11 a.m.bearcatsbanner1

Leave a Reply