SANTA CRUZ — Both defenses were great, and the pitchers were solid, but when Pajaro Valley’s Luke Meyers came up to the plate in the ninth inning, having already gone 3-3 with a home run, there was little doubt he would come through.
And he did.
Meyers drove his fourth hit of the game into left field for the game-winning RBI in a never-say-die nine inning defensive battle and powered the Pajaro Valley 11-12 All-Stars to a 2-1 win over the Aptos 11-12 All-Stars on Monday Night at Harvey West Park in Santa Cruz.
By the time Meyers came up with runners at first and second base and two outs, the late-night drizzle had already started to kick in, but nothing seemed to effect Meyers’ bat or his defense.
“What a great night for Luke he really came through for us in a lot of ways,” said PV manager Ed Kelly. “He made the diving catch on defense as well. A really big performance by him, we’re happy to have him.”
Meyers’ day started off with a sensational catch in the top of the third inning. He chased down a fly ball into foul territory in right field, and sold out to make the grab to end the inning and make both PV and Aptos fans ooh and ahh.
After making that Web Gem-worthy catch he came up to bat and smacked the second pitch he saw over the left-center field wall to give PV the slim lead.
Aptos scored in the next inning off of a Michael Adkins RBI to even the game at one, and the scoring was held in check by the excellent pitching.
Aptos used the combination of Josh Barry and Alex Taylor and PV relied on Chris Stanton and Harrison Zischke. Barry went six innings and gave up five hits, no walks and only one earned run before giving way to Taylor who finished out the game giving up three hits, a walk and one earned run. The Aptos duo teamed up for 17 walks.
Stanton went seven innings for PV and gave up six hits, one walk and one earned run. Zischke came on in the eighth inning and walked his first batter, but he was able to settle down and get out of the inning. Following a 1-2-3 inning by PV, Zischke had gotten into a tough spot with runners in scoring position, but James Sandoval made a great play on a ground ball to keep the runners on their bases and save the game. Zischke then got the final out with a key strikeout to give the offense another chance.
It turns out, that’s all they needed.
“I think the job that Chris and Harrison did was outstanding,” said Kelly. “Keeping a great Aptos team to one run, and our defense also did a great job. We caught everything and made the plays we needed to make.”
Zischke was able to get on base with a single to start the rally. He later saw his way to second base on a wild pitch. The next two batters struck out, but E.J. Kelly was able to earn the walk to get the sizzling bat of Luke Meyers to the plate. And he delivered for the win.
“This group of kids really enjoy each other,” said Kelly. “They like being around each other. They like coming to practice. It’s a nice little team, they’re not worried about individuals they know they have to win it as a team.”
With the win PV improves to 2-0 and adds another impressive resume in pool A play. The Aptos All-Stars dropped their second game, their first coming against Santa Cruz American on Sunday.
“It was a well-played little league game,” said Aptos manager Matt King, “and they got it done in the end.”
PV will play Friday at 5 p.m. at Harvey West against Santa Cruz American in a battle of the unbeatens and Aptos takes on San Lorenzo Valley today at 7:30 p.m.
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