POLAHS Baseball Wins CIF-LACS Division III Championship

LOS ANGELES - A long, winding journey of five years has finally culminated in championship glory for Port Of Los Angeles High baseball.

When Joe Saenz took over the young program of the San Pedro-based charter school in 2009, the Polar Bears would slowly, and surely, build their way up, and on Monday, they were able to do something no other male-related sport in school history has ever done before...

Become a CIF-Los Angeles City Section champion. 

Sophomore second baseman Angel Munoz would lace an infield single to drive in senior first baseman/pitcher Chris Marshall with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, providing the Polar Bears with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Fulton College Prep of Van Nuys in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division III final at USC's Dedeaux Field.

After three straight semifinal losses, the last two of which to the eventual champion, all the while as their sister softball team claimed three straight Division III crowns, it was finally time for the Polar Bear baseball team to celebrate a hard-earned championship. 

In just two seasons, the father-son tag team of coaches Dennis and Brian Emerson have taken the Polar Bears to two straight Crosstown League championships, and now, a moment in time that will never be taken away, even in a game that could have gone the other way.

 Marshall led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a towering double to left-center field, then was sacrificed over to third base with a bunt from sophomore first baseman/pitcher Fernando Rivas, who started the game as the pitcher, hurling six strong innings, allowing six hits and two runs (one unearned). In came Munoz, who stepped into a pressure-packed situation, and handled it like a professional.

With the count 1-and-1, Munoz drilled a hard ground ball at Fulton junior third baseman Joseph Reyes, who dove to stop the ball from going into the outfield. Reyes quickly popped up to try and get Marshall out at home plate, but the throw was offline as Marshall slid in safely for the championship-clinching run.

The celebration was on, and the top-seeded Polar Bears (14-9 overall) wasted no time in rejoicing.

Second-seeded Fulton (18-7) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, but POLA would answer with a run in the bottom of the second to trail 2-1. Senior left fielder Michael Vert blasted a first-pitch, lead-off triple in the bottom of the fourth, then would score off a ground-out by Rivas with two outs to tie the score at 2-2. POLA's defense would aid Rivas, junior Ricky Vasquez and Marshall by turning two inning-ending double plays.

However, there was one critical moment in the top of the ninth inning that saved the Polar Bears.

With one out and runners on first and second base, Marshall came in relief of Vasquez (two scoreless innings of relief) and would induce a ground ball hit by Fulton junior second baseman Jose Sanchez. What would happen after the ball was hit, was like riding a merry-go-round.

Rivas, now playing first base, would field the ground ball and fire to POLA senior shortstop Anthony Zankich for the force out of Fulton senior right fielder Robert Cabrera. Zankich then fired back to Rivas to try for the double play, but Sanchez beat the throw to first. Rivas instinctively fired to POLA senior catcher Gabriel Martinez at home plate noticing Fulton junior catcher Kevin Murcia, who led off the top of the ninth with a walk and advancing on a wild pitch, was trying to score from third base.

Martinez ran down Murcia, then fired back to Marshall who finally tagged out Murcia for the inning-ending double play.

That moment was the microcosm of how hard this championship run was for POLA, who defeated Valley Academy Arts & Sciences, Northridge Academy and Crosstown League foe Rancho Dominguez Prep in the prior three rounds en route to their historic title. The final three victories for POLA all came by one run, including their miraculous two-out, three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to down Rancho Dominguez in the semifinals on May 30.

Marshall went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored for POLA, while Vert went 2-for-3 with a triple and a run scored. 

Yes, they did it the hard way, and POLA would not have wanted to claim their first City baseball crown in any other way.

Views: 262

Comment

You need to be a member of San Pedro News Pilot to add comments!

Join San Pedro News Pilot

Call (323) 200-9052 to learn more or click here to send an email.

San Pedro Weather

San Pedro News Pilot by email - sign up!

Delivered by FeedBurner

What is the SanPedroNewsPilot.com?

The SanPedroNewsPilot.com is the social network and information outlet for San Pedro.

Want to keep up with the news in San Pedro, become a member.


 

Membership has its privileges!

• Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.
• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Got video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of the new storefront or the school play? Upload them.

Latest Activity

Louise Reichlin posted events
1 hour ago
SPMG Media posted a blog post

Sister Batten Productions: Bring Her Inspirational Plays and Movies to Your Organization

Sister Batten ProductionsBring this powerful film to your church or organization.Walking In The SpiritFILM SYNOPSIS: Paula, a young adult away from home for the first time as a freshmen in college is placed in an uncompromising position that will challenge her faith, morals and everything she was taught as a young girl growing up in the church and having a praying mother. Walking in the Spirit will take you on an emotional journey of FLESH vs. SPIRIT.For Bookings contact Tony Smith, Kase-Qtr…See More
2 hours ago
Profile IconJerry Pirozzi, Los Angeles Maritime Museum, San Pedro Fish Market and 4 more were featured
7 hours ago
Profile IconSan Pedro News Pilot via Facebook
Thumbnail

2015-2016 San Pedro Prep Sports Athletes Of The Year

San Pedro News Pilot.com

With the 2015-2016 San Pedro Prep Sports year officially over... I've decided to go with three Athletes Of The Year since these three have made the most impact throughout. San Pedro High football senior WR/DB Antonio 'A.J.' Frazier Jr. is the Male Athlete Of The Year, as the Northern State (Iowa)-b

Facebookyesterday · Reply
Joleen D'Rage posted an event
Thumbnail

Tall Ship Fireworks Sails at Tall Ships Irving and Exy Johnson

July 3, 2016 from 6:30pm to 7pm
LAMI is celebrating Independence Day with two fireworks sail, one on July 3rd and one on July 4th. Our twin brigantines will sail to Long Beach for a spectacular adventure on the water. Both sails will be boarding at 6:30pm at Berth 78 right next to the San Pedro Fish Market. As always, LAMI members will enjoy a 10% discount, so become a member and save!You may bring your own food and beverages on board, so think “Hollywood Bowl at Sea” and fill up your…See More
yesterday
Larry Richardson's event was featured
Thumbnail

Continuum at Alvas Showroom

August 28, 2016 from 4pm to 6pm
CONTINUUM originally started as a rehearsal band in 1987 in East Los Angeles, CA, (USA) - musicians getting together to play some of their favorite music by Mahavishnu, Bruford, Monk, RTF, Shorter, Weather Report, Circle,etc., for the sake of making music - rehearsing, refining, performing and documenting it as often as their individual schedules allowed.They established their own SOUND and evolved into one of the more critically acclaimed contemporary improvisational music ensembles performing…See More
yesterday
Lisa's 2 events were featured
yesterday
Kimia Grigoriev's event was featured
Thumbnail

FREE Doggy Photoshoot at Promenade on the Peninsula

July 16, 2016 from 10am to 12pm
Is your dog begging for a new portrait? Then come to the FREE Doggy Photoshoot hosted by PVNet. Dress up your dog however you want, and we'll take care of the rest! Final photos will be emailed to you, so you can print your dog's portrait however you want.PVNet is located next to Pottery Barn and under Regal Cinemas.See More
yesterday

© 2016   Created by San Pedro News Pilot.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service