Late in their game against Basic on Friday, Rancho coaches noticed the outfield positioning against Miguel Elicerio, a dead-pull hitter, and thought they’d have a chance to complete their rally.
The coaches were right, as Elicerio delivered the winning hit.
With two outs in the seventh inning, the senior lined a two-run double just out of the reach of a diving C.J. Dornak in left field, giving the sixth-ranked Rams a 4-3 home victory.
“One of my assistants came over and said, ‘Hey, he’s going to hit it down the line, and he’s going to have to make a play on it,’ ” Rancho coach Manny Llamas said. “And sure enough, that’s what happened and we got two runs there to take the (win).”
Rancho’s rally started with two outs when Layton Walls reached on an infield single and Joey Walls walked. Shane Spencer relieved Christian Sanford, and with the wind blowing out to right, the Wolves shifted their outfield alignment toward the right side.
Elicerio lined a 3-and-2 pitch to left, and the ball went all the way to the fence when Dornak couldn’t make the diving grab, allowing Joey Walls to score from first with the winning run.
“All I can really say is he’s a good pitcher, and I just happened to get the best of him,” said Elicerio, who went 2-for-3.
Basic slugger Jack Wold had gotten the best of Rancho (19-4, 15-3 Class 4A Sunrise League) in the top of the seventh. Christian Rivero walked with one out, and left-hander Michael Shy relieved starter Carlos Hernandez to face the left-handed hitting Wold.
Wold turned on an 0-and-1 fastball and drove it well over the right-field fence to give the third-ranked Wolves (20-7, 14-4) a 3-2 lead.
“Michael Shy’s been pretty much unstoppable all year, and I thought it would be a great time for him to come in and close it down,” Llamas said. “We had (Wold) off balance all game, and he got a pitch to drive and he got it.”
Edarian Williams was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Anthony Guzman went 2-for-4 with two runs for Rancho, which took a one game lead over Basic for second place with one week left in the regular season.
“Any time you beat a tough team like that, it gets the guys excited and it gets our team going,” Llamas said. “This was a playoff atmosphere game. A game like this, it’s definitely a morale booster, for sure.”
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.