The 2019 season opened with a little bit of everything. Most importantly, it began with a victory. The home team hosted the LA Harbor Seahawks. The Eagles were able to stay tough and pull out a thriller in the bottom of the tenth inning. This victory was exciting, however, it should have never been this way. The game was in hand for Coach Alonzo and his young right handed pitcher, Steven Silvas. The West Valley product was in complete command of the Seahawk offense. Silvas went a strong seven innings with a seemingly comfortable lead as he handed over a 6 – 2 margin to the pen. Games at “The Jac” are never quite that easy. Traditionally, games played in San Jacinto tend to be slugfest’s, with final scores like 12-10, or 9-8. Close games, lots of runs. As Silvas handed the ball off to the next man up, you had the sense that, “it was not going to be easy.”
The offensive stars for the Eagles provided six runs for “The Jac” by the time the fourth inning had concluded. After Jacob Boney and Joseph Hauck reached base, Craig Venable came up and delivered a two RBI single to put Mt. San Jacinto up by four runs at the time. Other offensive notables included Rigo “The Panda” Cano and his two for three performance, which included a HBP and a double. Panda also nearly destroyed a chain link fence on the first base side dugout. He would stay in, but would need to be removed later during his last at-bat. Shane Mittleman chipped in with a single and a run batted in. Centerfielder Joseph Hauck had a hit, a walk and scored twice. Leadoff hitter, shortstop Kevin Gameros also sparked the offense with his two run single in the fourth inning. The offensive star was Venable who delivered four hits, two doubles and two runs batted in.
The Seahawks from LA Harbor never gave in and kept the intensity on throughout the game. They seized their moment in the eighth inning. After two quick outs, and
two strikes on the next batter, the Seahawks would not relent and they put up a four spot to match the Eagles. Tied up at six each.
Coach Steve Alonzo’s last season with MSJC, his 32nd with “The Jac” overall, and he needed all of that experience to help guide his young squad to victory. The two teams held each other scoreless to send this on to extra frames. The Eagles won this game on a strange play. With DJ Downen at first base, Robert Doerr stepped to the plate. He battled and worked a sharp ground ball to third base. The ball was fielded cleanly, but thrown to first base in the dirt. The ball was kicked around a bit at first base, all the while, Downen is chugging around the bases. In a normal circumstance, there is no way that you send the runner to be thrown out by at least 30 feet. This was no normal situation, it was extra innings, and the day was running out of light. The umpire was about to call this game at any moment on account of safety. Coach Alonzo, knowing that this was probably his only chance, waved his arm frantically as his runner tried his best to obey his coach’s possibly insane command. The throw from the first baseman was in plenty of time, and was pretty much right on target, however…the catcher could not see the ball. Eagles win the season opener in dramatic fashion. 7 – 6!