Down by two runs with two outs and a runner on in the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday, East Union’s Austin Orr launched one high into the air that cleared the right-center field fence to tie the game and send the game into the eighth for J.P. Perazzo to lace a bases-loaded single for the 7-6 walk-off Valley Oak League win over visiting Sierra at Agostini Field.
Orr doubled and scored in the second inning to go 2 for 4 with a home run, double, two RBI and a two runs.
“I knew he was going to throw me a first-pitch curve ball, and he did,” Orr said. “And he threw me a curve on the second one, and I was ready for it. I waited on it, I knew the wind was blowing that way, I just had to get it in the air and the wind would take it – and it did.”
Batting out of the No. 9 hole, Perazzo knocked in Ashton Heath in the fourth inning and singled in the seventh, scoring on Orr’s home run.
Anthony Flores reached on an error in the eighth for the Lancers (12-3 VOL, 13-3 overall) and a pair of walks put him on third for Perazzo to single him in for the winning run.
“I came in really confident,” Perazzo said. “Things were working and I went out there and did what I needed to do.
“I saw the last one coming out of his hand and I could tell it was my pitch – inside a little bit – and I just took it.”
East Union started the game with an error in each of the first three innings.
“That is 100 percent not how we draw it up,” Lancers coach Carlos Herrera said. “We came out extremely flat. Take your hat off to Sierra because they were hungry for a win and we did everything we could to give it away up until the end. The last two innings of that ball game are our brand of baseball, excitement and energy.
“We were down to our last out. It is a testament to the kids – how close they are and how hard they work. We had every chance to shut down but they believe from start to finish.”
In Tuesday’s 5-0 win for East Union, the Timberwolves (8-7) stranded eight runners in scoring position.
“This was a lot better today than Tuesday,” Sierra coach Travis Thomson said. “In the first inning we had a runner at third with one out and we were able to get a sac fly. We played baseball and we were able to produce runs.
“Today was a good game. East Union came out on top because they had the big hit and that’s what these games come down to.”
East Union first baseman Jacob Toste made two phenomenal catches on line drives, one with runners on second and third with two outs and three already across for the Timberwolves in the fourth inning.
“Jacob has come so far,” Herrera said if Toste. “He comes early every day to practice and he takes ground balls, he takes swings. He is so hungry to be better it makes it easy as a coach to put him in there.
“And when it shows like that today you are proud of the kid because he puts the work in. What you saw today was the fruit of his labor.”
Toste was also smart with the bat, legging out a bunt for a single in the first inning and advancing Perazzo with a sacrifice bunt in the seventh inning.
“Those catches helped the team out.” Toste said. “I jumped for one and had to dive for the other. I tried to double the runner up at second on one of them but it didn’t quite work.”