Los Angeles, Ca – The Birmingham high school baseball team turned to its pinch hitter Andrew Acosta one more time and once again, he came up clutch, and on the biggest stage.
With the Patriots down, 3-2, to El Camino Real in the bottom of the sixth inning, Acosta flared a two-run RBI single to left field. Birmingham would hold on to defeat El Camino Real, 4-3, and win the L.A. City Section Open Division title on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.
“Earlier in the season El Co threw me inside and I hit the ball well so I figured that they were gonna feed me away this time,” Acosta said. “That’s what they did. I tried to drive the ball the other way and things worked out.”
The comeback victory gives Birmingham its second consecutive City Section championship.
Birmingham coach Matt Mowry said this was Acosta’s second or third time where he has driven in go-ahead runs in clutch situations this season.
“He did it in Vegas for a tournament for a walkoff win,” Mowry said. “He worked his butt of to get in that spot. We are so proud of that young man,”
After a Daniel Gonzalez doubles a Mike Brumleve single, Amauri Thomas laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Gonzalez scores from third and give El Camino Real a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning.
The Conquistadors added a run in the third on Joey Klein’s RBI single up the middle and took a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning on an overthrow to first base.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Daniel Gamboa walked and Albert Garcia singled to give Birmingham runners on the corners. Erik Rivas hit a two-out RBI single to get the patriots on the board.
Junior Jack Whisnant replaced El Camino Real starting pitcher Adam Christopher who threw five innings, allowing one run on four hits with five walks. Whisnant hit back-to-back batters before being pulled for Joey Klein.
A throwing error by Klein plates Daniel Velasquez and Birmingham cuts the lead, 3-2, with no outs, setting up Acostas’ go-ahead single.
“We talked to our kids and said hey, how much do you want it?” Mowry said. “They got together in the dugout and they were determined. To get down 3-0, and to be able to rally like that and come back is huge.”
Birmingham earned its sixth City title in school history.