By Jeremy Balan
Washington High School held two separate leads late in the game, but it left the door open too many times for a dangerous Oakland Tech offense.
The Bulldogs exploded for six runs in the top of the sixth inning and went on to win 8-3 in the third and deciding game of the Transbay Championship on Tuesday at San Francisco State University. It is Oakland Tech’s second consecutive Transbay title.
Washington sophomore starting pitcher Chris Hau may not have had his best stuff, but he held on to the Washington lead through the fifth inning, until a crucial error with two outs loaded the bases in the sixth.
The Bulldogs (17-7-1) took full advantage of the error by hitting three consecutive RBI doubles and turned a 3-2 Washington advantage into a 8-3 Oakland Tech lead.
“Anybody that’s played this game understands that if the door can get cracked, you can bust it open,” said Oakland Tech head coach Eric Clayton. “We did the things that were necessary to make the adjustments and they finally caught up with [Hau].”
After collecting the win in Game 1 of the series, Hau struggled at times in Game 3, but still kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard until the fifth inning. Hau went 5 2/3 innings and allowed all eight runs, but only one was earned.
“Four walks, two hit batsmen and three errors, that’s nine extra outs we have to play,” said Washington head coach Rob Fung. “[Hau] gave us everything he could against a pretty good team. You can only hold them off for so long and I thought he pitched well enough.”
The Eagles (20-8-1) took control of the game early, however, scoring two runs in the first inning on a two-run single by senior Paul Duchene, and after Oakland Tech tied the game 2-2 in the top half of the fifth, junior Javon Philips put the Eagles back on top with an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning.
Washington got runners on in every inning except the fourth, but struggled to get the big hits to extend its lead.
“To be quite honest, this whole series we didn’t swing the bat [well],” Fung said. “[Oakland Tech starter] Matt Cornell did a great job. He kept us off balance and pounded the plate.”
The game marks the end of the season for both teams, but also represents different stages in each team’s season. Unlike Washington, who played in the Academic Athletic Association title game, the Oakland Athletic League doesn’t have playoffs or a championship game.
“We didn’t really have a chance to celebrate on the field like we wanted to,” Clayton said. “But I told them, ‘You’ve got to earn it, whoever you’re playing and wherever you go.’”
While Oakland Tech’s season peaks with the Transbay series, Fung openly acknowledged that it was difficult for the Eagles to bounce back after their emotional win over Balboa in the AAA championship.
“It’s tough to reach your pinnacle and say, ‘We want more out of you,’” Fung said. “They gave us more, and it’s a credit to the kids to come out and compete.”
W – Paul Duchene singles, Dane Vande Guchte and Alex Kozakiewicz score
OT – James Harris singles, Kyle Kelly scores
OT – Jake Southworth reaches on an error, David Rodriquez scores
W – Javon Philips singles, Thomas Tomioka scores
OT – David Flores bunt single, Anthony Morris scores
OT – Evan Williams doubles, DarArmani Swift and David Flores score
OT – Southworth doubles, Cornell and Williams score
OT – Alejandro Wlassowsky doubles, Southworth scores
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