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May 1, 2014

PG ready for deep run

Fast starts and strong pitching have put Pleasant Grove on the verge of sweeping Jesuit after the Eagles notched a 6-1 win in Carmichael on Wednesday. They have been tied or in the lead in the last inning each game this year.

"We've lost four games, but we are four plays away from losing none. It's a special group," Pleasant Grove head coach Rob Rinaldi said. "They were able to overcome (a 5-3 start) and not let it get them too down."

The Eagles plated two runs in the first on a pair of two out RBI singles from Kyle Freitas and Jordan Yu. Nico Toni added another two out RBI single to score Kellen O'Brine for a 3-0 lead after two innings. Pleasant Grove scored seven first inning runs in Monday's win.

"It sets the tone for the game and puts them on their heels a little bit. We've been having good at-bats. We've been doing it for a while now," Rinaldi said. "Every guy in the line-up is a threat and different guys come up and get the big hit."

It was more than enough for right-hander Brett Elgin, who pitched into the seventh inning in picking up his fifth win. The senior used good control and a looping breaking ball to keep Jesuit hitters off balance in allowing three hits, one run, a walk, two hit batters and two strikeouts. His second strikeout came with the bases loaded to end the fifth and Jesuit's most promising rally.

"He's been great all year. Brett does a great job of pounding the strike zone and mixing his pitches. They didn't get a lot of good swings against him," Rinaldi said.

Pleasant Grove added three runs in the fifth against Jesuit starter Tanner Dodson, who pitched 4.2 innings. The Eagles had seven different hitters record a hit, including two hits from Toni. Yu had a team high two RBI.

With the win, Pleasant Grove remains in a tie with Oak Ridge atop the Delta River League. Jesuit is holding onto third place at 6-5, but has a game remaining with Pleasant Grove before finishing the regular season.

Other Highlights

Sitting at 8-6 after losing to crosstown rival Livermore on April 16, Granada was at a crossroads. After Wednesday's 4-0 win over San Ramon Valley, Granada has won five in a row. Casey Soltis went 3-for-4 with two triples and struck out the final two batters of the game. Left-hander Robert Chioino had six strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched. He outdueled Alex Barden, who struck out 10 batters in 5.1 innings.

Trailing 2-1 heading into the seventh, Los Gatos posted seven runs to beat Homestead 8-2. Campbell Robertson had a grand slam to keep the Wildcats up two games in the De Anza League.

With Leland's win over Sobrato (17-6) and Leigh's 5-1 victory over Willow Glen, there is a two way tie in the Mount Hamilton Athletic League. Leigh and Willow Glen complete their regular season series on Friday.

The Division V rankings are headlined by Head-Royce and Valley Christian-Dublin. Bentley took a step to break up the lock jam in beating Valley Christian 7-3 on Tuesday. In the first year under Tory Hernandez, Bentley is 14-1 with Redwood Christian and Valley Christian to end the week. Next week brings Head-Royce.


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