NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Sometimes miracles come about in mysterious ways.
On other occasions, they can appear to literally fall from the sky, which was the case for the Crescenta Valley Tile Babe Ruth baseball team on Tuesday evening.
Tile received a two-run error on a dropped popup in its final at-bat in the seventh inning that tied its if-necessary championship game versus La Crescenta Trotta before scoring an additional run an inning later in winning the game, 3-2, and capturing the La Crescenta Babe Ruth 13-15 Tournament title at Stengel Field.
"All season we believed. The play that's overlooked on the error is that we scored the tying run from first base on a popup to second," Crescenta Valley Coach Jim Smiley said. "[Brian Gadsby] ran as hard as he could believing he would be rewarded for his hustle and he was.
"That's the key to the game."
Trotta (19-3) led, 2-0, heading into the seventh with starting pitcher Orlando Diez working on a complete-game five-hitter.
With one out, Tile's Jesse Hurtado singled to right field and then moved to second after a walk to Gadsby.
Diez then brought his team within an out of the title when he induced a flyout to center from Ty Hill.
Diez fell behind Tile No. 3 hitter Jimmy Smiley, 3-0, before coaxing a seemingly innocuous high popup to second that was dropped by the back-pedaling infielder.
While Hurtado scored easily from second, Gadsby flew around the base paths from first base and scored the game-tying run.
Even though Diez recorded the final out on a popup to first, momentum had clearly swung.
"I just told Orlando that I was so proud of him, that he pitched one heck of a game," said Trotta Coach Tim McElliot, who pulled his starter due to the seven-inning maximum rule. "That's baseball."
A Trotta eighth-inning rally that started with a single from catcher AJ Absy did not materialize into a serious threat as the team never advanced anyone passed first base.
On the flip side, Tile's Chris Prah led off versus Trotta reliever Eric Ma by ripping a 1-1 fastball down the left-field line until the ball eventually rolled to the 330-foot sign. By the time the ball was relayed in, Pah reached third with a triple.
"I was just looking to hit that fastball and get on base," Prah said. "I was just running as hard as I could after I hit the ball."
Two pitches later, Prah scored on a 0-2 sacrifice fly to center field from Will Smiley.
"I thought we were going to lose the game in the seventh," Pah said. "I can't believe it."
Trotta scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings in going up, 2-0.
Absy reached on an error to start the fourth, stole second and then scored a RBI single from Johnny Alvarado off pitcher Gadsby in the fourth.
An inning later, Jacob De La Hoya led off with a triple and scored on a throwing error on the outfield relay to third base.
Tile's best chance to score prior to the seventh came in the fifth with Andrew Tinoco at third and Gadsby at second with two outs when Hill blooped a potential two-run double less than a foot foul down the right-field line.
A pitch later, Diez stuck him out to escape the jam.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun