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Mistakes finally cost Canyon baseball in first round

Posted: May 16, 2013 10:26 p.m.
Updated: May 16, 2013 10:26 p.m.
 

 

LOS ANGELES — For an entire season, Canyon Cowboys baseball got away with the little mistakes and even won its first Foothill League title since 2002 despite them.

The postseason wouldn’t be as forgiving.

Canyon lost 8-5 on Thursday to the Loyola Cubs at Loyola High School in Los Angeles in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.

The Cowboys (18-10) had a couple of mental breakdowns in the game and made a costly error late. They also left six men in scoring position in the game.

“The little mistakes always come back to haunt you,” said Canyon senior pitcher Max Weinstein. “The at-bats would carry us through in league, but today with a tougher team like that, it was harder to get away with stuff like that.”

Weinstein, who had been a warrior all season long, battling elbow tendinitis and a shoulder issue, simply ran out of gas in the end.

Staked to a 5-2 lead, he couldn’t hold it in the bottom of the fourth inning, as the floodgates opened for the Cubs (20-10).

Weinstein surrendered a solo home run to Angelo Armenta to lead off the inning.

After a ground out, he hit a batter, then walked another, setting up a Corey Dempster double that scored a run and cut the lead to 5-4.

Weinstein was out in favor of steady sophomore Blake Leidholdt, who gave up a single to the first batter he saw — Chad Powers.

A runner scored on the hit and another scored when left fielder Cole Mears overran the ball.

Loyola added two more in the top of the fifth with a triple by Brandon Caruso and a squeeze bunt by Joe Viole to make it 8-5 Cubs.

Canyon was getting base runners in bunches the first four innings, so it was nowhere near out of the game.

The Cowboys plated two first-inning runs on a bases loaded walk to Jason Rowe and a sacrifice fly by Chris Serrano.

Loyola knotted the score at 2-2 with a run in the first inning on an ill-advised throw by catcher Justin Stark and one in the second on an RBI single by Armenta.

The Cowboys took a 5-2 lead in the top of the fourth with another Serrano sac fly and an error at second base by Caruso on a ball hit by Taro Okada that gave the Cowboys two more runs.

Canyon chased Loyola left-hander Quinn Brodey out of the game after the fourth inning, but could have made matters worse for the Cubs.

They left two on in the first, left the bases loaded in the second, left two more on in the third and two more in the fourth.

“We had the opportunities. We didn’t get hits with guys on base,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer. “We put their guy on the ropes. What else could we do?”

Canyon had one more opportunity in the top of the sixth against reliever Nathan Hadley.

With runners on first and third, the hard-throwing Hadley struck Mears out.

Then Hadley retired Canyon in order in the seventh inning to give Loyola the win.

“Nathan’s been doing that all year,” said Loyola head coach Cooper Bergdahl. “He was dynamite. He shortened the game.”

For Canyon, it goes out having its most successful season in a decade. The Cowboys made their first postseason since 2007 in a year in which many had them picked to finish at best in the middle of the Foothill pack.

“There’s no reason to hang heads,” Schulhofer said. “It was a great season. So much excitement. Come-from-behind wins. Big wins. It was a full season.”

Said Weinstein, a leading candidate for Foothill League Player of the Year: “Hopefully we’re leaving a legacy of hard work. Hopefully it sets a trend for future years.”

 

 

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