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April 3, 2012 > Mission Splits First MVAL Games

Mission Splits First MVAL Games

By Ed Hugo

The Mission San Jose (MSJ) High School varsity baseball team ended their initial week of MVAL competition with a record of 1-1 having dropped a hard-fought game to
Logan 4-1 and edging Irvington 9-8 in eight innings.

The MSJ vs. Logan game featured two of the best junior hurlers in the North Coast Section. MSJ's Brandon Facha faced Logan's Alex Martinez in a battle that was decided primarily by Martinez' arm and bat coupled with MSJ defensive miscues. Logan jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning as Facha walked lead-off batter Rafael Delgadillo on four straight pitches to open the game. After stealing second base, Delgadillo scored the game's first run on Martinez' two-out base hit. Logan added two runs in the third inning as Martinez drove in both runs with a long, bases loaded double. Logan had loaded the bases on hits by Delgadillo and Michael Johnson with a MSJ defensive miscue sandwiched between the hits that loaded the bases for Martinez. Logan tallied their final run in the fifth inning on a bases loaded fly to left field as the throw back to the infield was misdirected and allowed Alejandro Padilla to score.

Martinez was on his game for Logan as he mixed his pitches effectively and had the MSJ batters off balance during his six-inning stint on the hill. Martinez retired the first 11 MSJ batters before plunking catcher Devon Jones with two outs in the fourth inning. MSJ did reach Martinez for the only hit and run he allowed in the sixth inning. Jeff Chu reached first on Martinez' third walk of the game. Chu then stole second base and came around to score as Facha blasted a long double to left center field. Martinez struck out 12 batters during his six innings of work, and Facha allowed only two runs as he pitched a complete game in the battle of outstanding junior pitchers.

MSJ came right back to edge out Irvington 9-8. Their offense broke out with 13 hits led by Brandon Fuhs, whose bat was hot all game as he collected three singles and a double. After being behind the entire contest, MSJ tied the game 4-4 in the sixth inning only to have Irvington tally a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-4 lead. But MSJ rallied once again in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game and send it into extra innings where both teams' bats came alive.

Irvington jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead without the benefit of a hit as MSJ starter Kyle Welker walked two batters. The usually tight MSJ defense committed three errors behind Welker. After the first inning madness, Welker and the MSJ defense settled down, and Irvington was held to just two runs over the next five innings. MSJ began its comeback by scoring a single run in the third inning and a pair in the fourth to cut Irvington's lead to 4-3. In the third inning, Patrick Andresen's two-out infield single drove home Brandon Facha who had doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch. MSJ loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth and looked to have a chance for a big inning, but Jeff Chu was picked off at third base and Scott Havard grounded back to the pitcher who forced out Patrick Yang at the plate for the second out of the inning. With Irvington one out away from resolving the bases loaded jam, Devon Jones came through with a sharp single to drive home MSJ's second and third runs. MSJ tied the game 4-4 on Facha's long sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and tied it again in the seventh inning as Wyatt Ott's two out dribbler up the first base line eluded the Irvington first baseman allowing Fuhs to score and send the game into extra innings.

The MSJ bats really came alive in the top of the eighth inning as they collected four consecutive hits that resulted in four runs crossing the plate with Fuhs, Chu and Yang driving home the lead runs. With a 9-5 lead, Devon Jones, who had relieved Welker in the seventh inning, quickly retired the first two Irvington batters in the bottom of the eighth. But Irvington would not go quietly as they rallied with three hits to score three runs. They had a potential tying run at second base when Scott Havard replaced Jones and struck out the final batter with a nasty, 1-2 curve ball to send the MSJ players and fans home with their first MVAL victory of the season. Overall, MSJ's record is 7-2 with one tie.

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