If you’ve ever played baseball at a competitive level, there is no escaping the extreme highs or the brutal lows that come with it.
And Maranatha has enjoyed more up moments than any SGV program in 2022, as the Minutemen have an area-best 24 wins.
Four years after winning a CIF-SS Division 3 championship, MHS was just one win from earning spot in this weekend’s D-2 title game.
Torrance, however, had other plans.
The Tartars edged visiting Maranatha, 2-1, on a two-out infield error, and they’ll move forward to battle Etiwanda.
This is not the end of their season, as MHS has earned a berth in next week’s state playoffs.
But back to Tuesday for a moment.
Maranatha took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning, as Nick Cook doubled and eventually scored on a ground out by Bryan Richman.
Torrance answered back in the bottom half of the fifth, tying the game at 1-1 on a couple walks, a wild pitch and an error.
And that set the table for the dramatic walk-off victory for THS.
MHS freshman, Zach Strickland, is definitely someone to watch over the next three years.
Strickland provided four scoreless innings.
He allowed one hit, walked one and fanned three Torrance batters.
Garrett McGuigan walked two batters and Jacob Yun entered with runners on first and second with no outs.
Yun would get out of the fifth with limited damage and went 2 2/3 innings.
Yun allowed five hits, an unearned run, didn’t issue a walk and struck out a pair of Tartars.
Brock Mayer walked, singled and scored both Torrance runs.
Ricky Ahumada, Corey Nunez, Matthew Chavez, Nate Torres and Evan Saito singled once each for THS.
Brock Mayer got the win, allowing one run on two hits in four innings.
Mayer walked three and struck out four MHS batters.
Corey Nunez went three scoreless innings for the Tartars and allowed just one hit.
Nunez walked one and struck out a trio of Maranatha batters.
As mentioned, Cook doubled and scored.
In fact, Cook had the game’s lone extra-base hit.
Adrian Lopez and Isaac Ton singled to account for the rest of the MHS offense.
Up next: Maranatha will get their first-round state opponent after this weekend’s CIF-SS title games have been completed.
Win: Brock Mayer
Loss: Jacob Yun
2B: Nick Cook (M)
Records: Maranatha (24-7); Torrance (25-5-1)
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