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Boys Varsity Baseball: Carlmont's Seventh-Inning Rally Defeats M-A 9-8

Original post made by Bob Moriarty, Team Parent, Portola Valley: Ladera, on May 7, 2010

Carlmont erased a two-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring three times to defeat visiting Menlo-Atherton 9-8 and sweep its PAL Bay Division series with the Bears. The victory allowed Carlmont (13-10, 8-4) to tie M-A (14-10, 8-4) for first place in the league standings with two games remaining.

After M-A scored a run in the top of the seventh to extend its lead to 8-6, Carlmont began its game-winning rally with a single by Brian Barret, chasing Bears' starting pitcher Nils Gilbertson. Relief pitcher Chace Warren hit the next batter, then surrendered a run-scoring double to Daniel Madigan and an RBI sacrifice fly to Christian Conte. After Colton Hicks was walked intentionally, Madigan scored the winning run on a chopper to third by Taylor Crawford. Crawford, who pitched the top of the seventh, also earned the win, while Warren (2-2) took the loss.

The defeat overshadowed a gutsy 100-pitch effort by M-A's Gilbertson, who struck out seven while allowing seven runs (six earned), six hits, and three walks over six innings.

M-A was held to just five hits, but took advantage of six walks and two hit batsmen to overcome two different Carlmont leads. With the Scots leading 1-0 in the top of the third, M-A scored three times on a bases-loaded walk to Jeff Keller, a daring steal of home by Wally Hansen, and an RBI sacrifice fly by Gilbertson to lead 3-1.

After Carlmont tied the game 3-3 in the fourth on an RBI single by Crawford and a squeeze bunt by Jason Parfet, the Bears again took the lead in the top of the fifth, thanks to two walks and a run-scoring single—M-A's first hit of the day—by Chace Warren.

The seesaw battle continued in the bottom of the fifth, when Carlmont catcher Colton Hicks smashed a soaring three-run homer (his second homer against M-A in the series) to give the host Scots a 6-4 lead.

Undeterred, M-A scored three times in the top of the sixth to lead 7-6, helped by two Carlmont errors, a run-scoring single by Casey Eason, and a two-run single by Kyle Zirbes. Chris Gow's RBI sacrifice fly to center in the top of the seventh—following a quality, nine-pitch at-bat—gave the Bears an 8-6 lead before the Scots staged their game-winning rally in the bottom of the inning.

Menlo-Atherton returns to action next Wednesday afternoon at Half Moon Bay.

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