Drew Renteria summed it up.
“It was ugly,” the senior pitcher from Cesar Chavez High said.
It was also another Central Section championship for the Titans.
Renteria pitched six gutty innings and scored three runs to help second-seeded Cesar Chavez beat top-seeded Central Valley Christian 10-8 on Monday at Rawhide Ballpark to repeat as Division V champions.
I was nervous, but I was just trying to get the job done. Get the win. I was just trying to throw strikes and do the best for my team.
Chavez High reliever Julian Lopez on closing out the D-V championship win
So, did it matter that Renteria yielded eight runs (though only two were earned) on seven hits, four walks and a hit batter while pitching in front of a defense that committed five errors?
“Whatever, we’re still on top,” Renteria said.
But it was oh so close to going awry.
About 6 inches once and 2 feet a second time, according to third-base umpire Mark Hatton, from a stunning CVC rally.
Trailing 10-7 going into the bottom of the seventh, the Cavaliers’ Rance Danell drew a leadoff walk followed by a double from Noah Flores, chasing Renteria from the mound. Reliever Julian Lopez hit Theo May to load the bases before catching Scott Vander Wall looking at a third strike for the first out.
Triston Lytle came and drilled a shot down the third-base line that, had it not landed 6 inches foul, likely would have rolled into the left field corner and possibly scored two runs.
“I’m proud for my kids,” CVC coach Graham Harrison said. “They worked hard all year and played hard today, we just came up short.
“If you get the tying and winning runs on (in the last inning), I can live with that. We were inches from winning.”
Lytle would eventually single in a run, but Lopez struck out Joshua Jones, who laced a hard liner down the third-base line that drew oohs from the crowd despite landing 2 feel foul, and got Connor Paden to ground out to third for the final out.
“I was nervous, but I was just trying to get the job done. Get the win,” Lopez said. “I was just trying to throw strikes and do the best for my team.
“It feels amazing. Back to back, it’s unbelievable.”
It’s not really the way you want to come out and play a Valley game. We had what, 10 errors in the game combined?
Chavez coach Scott Neal said
Lopez delivered what proved to be the winning runs with a two-run single in the top of the fifth inning.
Cesar Chavez got off to a fast start, scoring three times in the first, highlighted by J.R. Montes’ run-scoring single, and five more in the second, including Moi Garcia’s two-run single.
CVC stayed close with three in the first, including Noah Flores’ RBI single, and two more in the second.
The teams combined for six of their 10 errors and nine of 11 walks in the first two innings.
“It’s not really the way you want to come out and play a Valley game,” Chavez coach Scott Neal said. “We had what, 10 errors in the game combined? As a coach, it;s a lot more stress, especially us going out there putting up the runs. The game should have been a little bit different, but it is what it is.”
Cesar Chavez 10, Central Valley Christian 8
WP: Drew Renteria (6IP, 4Ks). LP: Trenton Vanderveen. Sv: Julian Lopez (1IP, 2Ks). CC, Drew Renteria 1-3, 2 SB, 3 R; Julian Lopez 2-5, 2 RBI; Moi Garza 1-3, 2 R, 2 RBI; J.R. Montes 1-4, 2 R, RBI; Luke FFeliscian 1-3, R; Kiki Garza 1-3, 2 RBI; Tony Acuna 1-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI. CVC, Connor Paden 0-4, R; Dalton Daily 1-3, 2R; Bradley Taylor 1-3, RBI; Rance Danell 0-2, 2 R; Noah Flores 3-4, 2B, 3B, R, RBI; Scott Vander Wall 1-4; Triston Lytle 2-4, R; Joshua Jones 0-4, R.