LOS ANGELES -- North Hollywood found a field of redemption at Dodger Stadium in the City Section Division II championship game against South Gate.
With a seven-run, third inning, North Hollywood beat South Gate, 10-5, and won its first City Section championship since 1957.
North Hollywood (19-5) sent 13 batters to the plate in the third inning. Anthony De La Torre knocked in two runs with a two-out single. Eddie Torres added a sacrifice fly. The Huskies scored two runs on bases-loaded walks and two more when batters were hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
“We were hungry,” Torres said. “This year, we came out hungry. We came out aggressive swinging the bats. It’s unreal. Words can’t explain it.”
North Hollywood reached the championship game of the Division II playoffs last year and lost, 2-0, to Wilson. The Huskies were not about to let their second chance slip away.
“We were due,” North Hollywood coach Hector Menchaca said. “I know the kind of guys we had. They were not satisfied with the performance they had last year.”
North Hollywood took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Zane Weston drove in Carlos Galvez with a one-out double.
South Gate (19-10) tied the score in the bottom of the first and took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second.
Jesse Ruiz had a RBI single. Ezequiel Iglesias doubled and scored in the inning.
Iglesias, the starting pitcher for South Gate, lost control on the mound in the third inning. He gave up a lead-off single to Marvin Galvez and began to unravel. He walked three batters, hit another, and gave up seven runs in the inning.
North Hollywood only got two hits in the inning, one of them a two-run single by De La Torre. The sacrifice fly by Torres was the second out in the inning.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play,” Torres said. “Fortunately, I did and we got a run.”
North Hollywood sent seven more batters to the plate after the sacrifice fly by Torres and chased Iglesias. Weston flew out to centerfield to end the inning with the bases loaded.
“I was breathing a lot easier,” Menchaca said after his team scored seven runs in the third inning.
North Hollywood starter Brayden Harris settled down and shut down the South Gate offense over the next four innings. He gave up four runs on eight hits and struck out three.
“He stepped up in the playoffs,” Menchaca said.
North Hollywood scored two more runs in the seventh inning to take a 10-4 lead. Torres was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Weston was 2-for-4 with a double and drove in three runs. Galvez reached base all four times he came to the plate. He had three singles, a walk and scored two runs.
Menchaca said after the game the North Hollywood program will be contending for City Section championships for a while.
“We’re going to work hard,” Menchaca said. “We got it done. I feel great, great for the school.”