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Saints start off on right note

Baseball: Arroyo Seco team rallies for 4-3 win in opening round of Palomino tournament.

July 22, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

PASADENA — Kamran Young doesn't like dramatic victories. He'd prefer to have an easier go of it.

None of that stopped Young from driving in the winning run in the Arroyo Seco Saints' first-round 4-3 victory in the Palomino SoCal Regional Baseball Tournament against Covina on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Field.

Young came up big in the clutch. He faced a 2-2 count with two outs and a runner on third base in the bottom of the sixth inning. He stayed back and drove a pitch to left field with two outs and a runner on third in the bottom of the sixth. His RBI single was the difference in the game, which went down to the wire.

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"[Young's] done that multiple times for us this year," said Saints Coach Aaron Milam, who's also a St. Francis High assistant. "That isn't something new for him and we have tremendous confidence when he comes up in those situations."

Even with the pressure turned up, Young stayed calm.

"I just wanted to stay relaxed and put the ball in play," Young said.

The win puts the Saints in action at 7:30 p.m. today in the second round of the double-elimination tournament against the Jayhawks at the same venue.

Arroyo Seco struggled at the start Friday night. The Saints' starting pitcher, Matt Lathuras, gave up lead-off singles in each of the first three innings. He paid for it the top of the third after he loaded the bases without an out via a single, walk and fielding error. Covina went up 2-0 on a RBI groundout from JJ Franklin and a wild pitch.

"We are a bipolar team," said Milam, whose team committed three errors. "We will hit the ball hard and then boot the ball twice — it's nothing new."

The Saints tied it in their half of the third, though, turning a walk, hit by pitch, two singles and a squeeze bunt into two runs. David Olmeda-Barrera, a St. Francis High product, drove in a run with a one-out single with runners on second and third. The tying run came around to score on a successful bases-loaded squeeze bunt from Steven Karkenny.

The St. Francis products kept producing for the Saints, as Brandon Van Horn brought in KC Huth, who reached base on a single and stole second and third, to score with a RBI single of his own. The hit put Arroyo Seco up, 3-2.

"It feels good to see your high school guys have some success," Milam said. "The credit goes all around, though. There are a lot of players from all over the Mission League on this team."

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