With a 5-3 win over Bishop Tuesday, the Owens Valley All-Stars stay alive in tournament action, taking on the undefeated Tehachapi team in the championship round.
(The final round was played yesterday afternoon; results will be in Saturday’s paper.)
Tuesday’s game was hard fought. The Bishop All-Stars were in it to the end, but fell short of the mark.
“This win was a big deal for us,” said OV manager Travis Allison. “We haven’t beaten Bishop in years.
“I told the kids to play with heart, to believe in themselves and each other and not give up. The ball will fall where it falls.”
Owens Valley pitcher, Juan Hernandez set the pace early with a walk and three strikeouts to retire the Bishop bats.
Brodie Maloney started on the mound for Bishop, recording the first two outs with a strikeout and a quick takeout at first.
With Hernandez and Nicholas Dawson on base with walks for Owens Valley, Benji Luna smashed a double into the outfield, scoring 2 runs to put OV in the lead.
Ryan Kiddoo, pitching for Bishop, made short work of the OV bats, allowing one hit but taking out the rest of the lineup with quick defensive plays at first base.
OV’s Hernandez returned the favor, retiring Bishop with three strikeouts.
Bishop rallied in the third with a single from Cal Omohundro and Maloney’s base on balls. OV put the fire out with a decisive double play from short stop Renee Villa.
The OV All-Stars went three-up/three down to end the inning.
Bishop’s Tyler Iskiyan singled in the top of the fourth. OV’s pitcher Hernandez struggled, allowing two walks to load the bases. Iskiyan came in to put Bishop on the scoreboard at 2-1.
With 7 strikeouts in four innings, Hernandez was relieved by Dawson who ended the inning with a strikeout.
Josh Barlow relieved Bishop pitcher Kiddoo in the bottom of the fourth.
OV’s Luna and Audi Begay singled, but Luna was tagged out at second on a fielder’s choice. Efrem Luna doubled on errors. One walk loaded the bases, the next walk sent Begay across home plate, extending OV’s lead 3-1.
Bishop’s Troy Erickson came to the mound, retiring the side with two strike outs.
The Bishop bats woke up in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Erickson came to the plate and hit a triple, on errors. Iskiyan followed with a strong double to left field, scoring Erickson. Barlow did the same, tying the score at 3-all with a run by Iskiyan.
OV’s catcher John Michael Shepherd minimized the damage with great bunt coverage and a throw to the first at the start of the inning.
Owens Valley rose to Bishop’s challenge. With Dawson on first, Benji Luna sent the ball soaring for a triple, scoring Dawson.
Efrem Luna sent the insurance run home but was taken out at first on a fielder’s choice.
Owens Valley ended the inning with a 5-3 lead.
Bishop almost added a run in the top of the sixth and final inning. The run, from third, was called back. The runner had asked and been granted a time-out before the run was made.
OV’s Shepherd ended the game with a diving catch in right field.
“Tehachapi is a strong team,” said Allison. “We got beaten badly in the first round. We have to come back and play superior ball.”