FRANKLIN LOAN CENTER GAME OF THE WEEK:Beckman Stuns Bonita with One Swing

June 1, 2011
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Bonita Coach John Knott guided Bonita to a remarkable 27-5 season before falling one game short of making its second straight appearance in the CIF finals.

Bonita Coach John Knott guided Bonita to a remarkable 27-5 season before falling one game short of making its second straight appearance in the CIF finals.

Nearly everyone on hand to watch Tuesday’s semifinals showdown between Bonita and Beckman expected a low-scoring ballgame. Bonita held up its end of the bargain, scoring just two runs but Beckman scored eight, half of the total coming on one epic swing from Tyler Cook whose grand slam in the bottom of the third broke a 2-2 tie that effectively ended Bonita’s title shot, leaving it one game short of Dodger Stadium.

After knotting the score at 2-2 in the top of the third, it appeared Bonita had seized the momentum, but the bottom of third would tell a different story. After getting No. 3 hitter, Justin Hazard to fly out to deep center, Bonita’s ace lefthander Adam McCreery gave up a comebacker by Zack Rivera that caromed off McCreery’s foot to shortstop Justin Rowe for an infield single. Bonita coach John Knott quickly ran to the mound to check on McCreery’s condition, but the big lefthander waved Knott off, indicating he was okay. However, after McCreery issued consecutive walks to Beckman’s Spencer Ludin and Will Barring, Knott called in his right hander Brandon Murfett. Tyler Cook deposited Murfett’s first-pitch fastball over the left field fence, stunning and silencing the Bearcat faithful with a grand slam.

After the bases-clearing bomb, Beckman dropped one more run one on the Bearcats, cashing in a single and a two-base error to go up 7-2. The damage had been done.

Despite being up 7-2, Beckman squeezed home its final run in the bottom of the fifth and even during its last at bat, it was still sacrificing against Bonita, indicating Beckman would do everything in its power and use every weapon in its arsenal to slay the Bearcats, the CIF Southern Section Div. 3’s No. 1 seed.

In the top of the third, Bonita had scratched out two runs to tie the score at 2-2. Justin Row got the rally started, nursing a walk off Beckman starter Chad Rieser. After Matt Gelalich flied to center, Robert Mier stroked a double down the left field line to score Rowe. KC Huth cashed in Mier when his hard grounder skipped through the Beckman shortstop’s legs.

But that third-inning flurry would be the only attack the Bearcats could muster. A couple of line drives in other innings flirted with the left-field foul line, but Rieser held Bonita in check for the most part, pitching a five-hitter while surrendering five walks.

In the first inning, Rieser hit two of the first three batters he faced, but he wiggled off the hook, when Rowe attempting to score on a single by Thomas Castro was cut down on a perfect relay throw to the plate. In the bottom half of the inning, Bonita would return the favor. After Beckman’s Rivera singled in the game’s first run, Spencer Ludin laced a two-out double that Bonita left fielder Nolan Henley chased down before relaying the ball to Rowe, who wheeled and threw home to a waiting Mark Lindsay who tagged out a sliding Rivera.

In the second inning, Beckman went up 2-0 on a lead-off solo shot by Barring before Bonita would tie the score in the top of the third.

And then thunder struck in a shot that, if not heard round the world, at least was heard all the way to the foothills of La Verne.

Coming off the Memorial Day weekend and enjoying their Orange County home cooking, Beckman for at least one day showed it was better to be a Patriot, the school’s home mascot, than a Bearcat, which could only growl at the shocking outcome.

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