Baseball: Washington succumbs to late El Camino rally in non-league loss

Washington senior shortstop Dane Vande Guchte (left) turns a double play against El Camino on Monday at El Camino High School in South San Francisco. (Photo by Devin Chen)

Washington senior shortstop Dane Vande Guchte (left) turns a double play against El Camino on Monday at El Camino High School in South San Francisco. (Photo by Devin Chen)

By Jeremy Balan

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — The Washington High School baseball team may be the defending Academic Athletic Association champion with a key core of seniors returning, but its first two games of the season have shown it has plenty of room for improvement.

The Eagles were in contention for most of their non-league game on the road against El Camino and held a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning, but gave up nine unanswered runs in two innings to lose 10-2.

The loss follows another in their season-opener on Saturday, a 17-3 rout at the hands of Sonoma Valley, in which the Eagles (0-2) committed seven errors.

Washington senior starter Avery Velasco sets to send a pitch toward the plate against El Camino on Monday at El Camino High School in South San Francsico. (Photo by Devin Chen)

“We have some growing to do and it’s more than I expected,” said Washington head coach Rob Fung. “I thought, with the guys returning from last year, there would be a little more leadership, but it seems like you always have to pull it out of them.”

Washington sophomore center fielder Jordan Wilson broke a 1-1 tie with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth inning and senior starting pitcher Avery Velasco appeared to be cruising after allowing a lone run in the first, but the game took a quick turn in the bottom half.

The Colts (1-0), who are the defending Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division champions, responded with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, capped by a chopped, ground ball RBI single into left field from senior catcher D.J. Peluso. Peluso went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, and broke the game open with a two-RBI single in the sixth inning to extend the El Camino lead to 8-2.

“We’re a little challenged swinging the bat this early, but we have guys at the top of the lineup who can run and some pretty good contact guys,” said El Camino head coach Carlos Roman. “When we get the opportunity, we’re going to put pressure on the defense and we did get some balls up in the air and off the fence here.”

Even though the Colts had 12 hits and 22 baserunners, Roman was more impressed with his pitching staff.

El Camino junior Josh Eclavea started the game and allowed one run on two hits in four innings, then left-hander Kyle Mack followed with two innings and allowed the go-ahead Washington run before the Colts scored late to give him the win.

“The pitchers were competing and throwing strikes, and we have guys behind them who can play,” Roman said. “We’re not going to hit like we did the past five or six years, but it’s a different style of winning a ballgame.”

Standout senior Dane Vande Guchte, who also plays on the Washington basketball team, made his first start of the season at shortstop and went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base, but may miss more games for the Eagles if the basketball team advances in the AAA playoffs, which begin on Friday.

“He just makes a world of difference and our infield is a lot different with him in the lineup,” Fung said. “He’s our guy and everyone knows that.”

Scoring Summary

First Inning
W – Christopher Yee singles, Dane Vande Guchte scores
EC – D. J. Peluso reaches on an error, Armando Moncada scores

Fifth Inning
W – Jordan Wilson sacrifice fly, Ryan Lam scores
EC – Moncada singles, Brett Boletini and David Jimenez score
EC – Peluso singles, Moncada scores

Sixth Inning
EC – Jimenez walks, Nick Moisant scores
EC – Peluso singles, Dominic Giuliani and Boletini score
EC – Emiliano Rios singles, Jimenez scores
EC – Peluso steals home (double steal)

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10 Comments on "Baseball: Washington succumbs to late El Camino rally in non-league loss"

  1. will you be doing top 10 for baseball Mr. Balan?

  2. Very unsportsmanlike by El Camino to steal home, when they were winning 9-2. Seriously, why would you steal home, when you are up by 7 runs? That’s like bunting and doing a suicide squeeze when up by 10.

    • or when youre up by 50 points and going for a 2pt conversion instead of a PAT.

    • 9-2 isn’t exactly a huge lead in high school baseball…a few walks, a few hits, a few errors and a team could be back in the game

      • 7 runs is a really big lead in baseball, when you are 3 outs away from ending the game and the other team gets 4 hits in the entire game.

        The steal of home occurred in the sixth inning.

        El Camino held Washington to 4 hits from 24 batters faced thru 6 innings. If El Camino’s Closer was any good, Washington was not going to score 7 runs in the 7th inning, and if they did Washington probably would have scored 8 runs, so the Double Steal was not needed in the 6th inning. The EC Closer faced 4 GW batters in the 7th inning.

        If the Double Steal had occurred in the first 5 innings, it would have been acceptable, but not at the end of the sixth inning, unless both teams had already scored 10 or more runs.

        • Just so we’re clear. It wasn’t a straight double steal. I put that down to be as clear, but also as succinct as possible.

          This is what actually happened. There were runners on first and third and there was a passed ball or a wild pitch, I don’t remember which. The runner from first tried to take second, then on the throw, Peluso broke for home and scored.

          • Ok, that is a opportunity steal, not a called steal from the bench.

            That is more acceptable, and something the coach has no control over.

            I was thinking it was a called Double Steal by the El Camino Coach.

  3. Obviously, Washington has to get back to the basics and fundamentals, they got whipped.

  4. Anthony Auerbach | February 23, 2012 at 9:59 PM |

    San Francisco public schools just have to step up their game. I mean why would you want to get down 9-2 in the first place?

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