“These kids all know one another because they are on the same team in the fall and summer,” Rebels Coach Buzz Cook said. “In fact, we coaches were talking about what we are going to do as a team this summer right after the game.”
Bell-Jeff Coach Hector Perez said when his Guards face the Rebels, it creates a unique situation.
“It’s more like playing against your brother than playing against another team,” he said. “The program they have [at Flintridge Prep] is almost a mirror of the program here at Bell-Jeff. Buzz does a great job with his kids.”
For the most part, the Guards (0-2) led to their own undoing. The Rebels (3-1) scored five runs on either passed balls or wild pitches.
Bell-Jeff also committed five errors that led to Flintridge Prep runs, as well.
“Overall, I thought it was a pretty ugly win for us,” Cook said. “But as a coach, you’ll take any win you can get.”
Park (1-0) was in control of the game early, as he baffled the Guards batters through two innings. He struck out five of the first eight batters he faced and surrendered just one hit.
However, he hit a snag in the third inning, allowing the Guards to jump out to an early 2-0 lead.
Michael Martinez led off the inning with a single and Matt Landini followed with a walk. After both runners were able to move up on a passed ball, they scored on a single by Patrick Haney.
Park threw five innings and gave up three runs and five hits. He also struck out nine and walked one.
The Rebels responded in their portion of the third inning by pushing across six runs — two each on passed balls and wild pitches. Nick Ostiller had a triple in the inning and Park and Connor McCann had singles.
The Guards made it a 6-3 game with a run in the fourth inning.
The Rebels scored a single run in the fifth and the Guards answered with two runs in the sixth to whittle the lead down to 7-5.
However, Flintridge Prep exploded for five runs in its portion of the sixth, spearheaded by singles from Will Peterman, Aaron Fried, McCann and Alex Sierra.
The Guards received two hits from Landini.