GOLDEN GATE PARK — After giving up the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth inning, George Washington starting pitcher James Monterrosa kicked the dirt at the top of the pitchers mound in frustration.
“I left a slider over the plate,” the senior ace said. “I really wanted that one back.”
Monterrosa would have his shot at redemption shortly after, but with his bat instead of his arm. With a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth, Monterrosa would help give the Eagles the lead in a seven-run frame to be beat Mission High School 9-4 at Big Rec on Thursday.
“Monterrosa really battled for us,” Eagles coach Brian Jesson said. “He showed a lot of attitude and that’s what you want. He decided today that he was going to put the team on his back and he ran with it today.”
For Monterrosa, Thursday afternoon did not get off to a great start. The right-hander faced seven men in the first, after walking two batters, giving up two singles and hitting a Mission batter with a pitch, and giving up two runs.
“I didn’t really have all of my stuff,” said Monterrosa, who trailed 2-1 after the first. “I walked a bunch of people early. That’s not like me.”
As the game went on, Monterrosa began to find his groove, pitching to contact and inducing a pair of double plays, allowing him to get of of the third and fourth without giving up more runs.
In the bottom of the fourth, Mission’s pitcher, Asantay Wilson, ran to cover the plate on a hit to to left. The throw home went to the backstop, and Bears catcher Zeke Bellino threw to Wilson covering the plate. Wilson and Niko Lanier — who had earlier reached on a bunt — got their feet tangled on a hook slide as Washington (5-12, 4-4 in Academic Athletic Association) tied the game at 2-2, making for a bit of tension.
Monterrosa then went back to work. Mixing up things with some offspeed pitches and fastballs, he kept the game knotted up until the top of the sixth, when Mission second baseman Azaan Lewis hit an RBI double to give Mission a 3-2 lead.
After showing visible frustration following the hit, Monterrosa knew he had to redeem himself the next chance he got.
At the plate with a pair of runners in scoring position after a wild pitch allowed them to advance, Monterrosa ripped a shot down the first base line for a two-run single, giving Washington its first lead of the game.
That shot was just the beginning of a monster frame for the Eagles, who scored seven runs in the top of the seventh.
“We got a little help from our pitcher, who was having trouble throwing those strikes early,” Jesson said referring to Monterrosa.
After the providing the go-ahead hit, Monterrosa was elated, knowing that he had indeed redeemed his errors from the inning prior.
Back on the mound in the bottom of the inning, Monterrosa showed his fatigue, however, eclipsing the 110 pitch count limit after giving up another hit.
As a result, Jesson was forced to pull his ace, due to high school rules, which place a strict limit on pitch counts.
Unhappy with the decision, Monterrosa moved to left field.
“Man, I hit that pitch count and that’s my fault for walking all of those batters early,” Monterrosa said. “But my adrenaline was pumping and I could have gone 150. I had it all and I could have finished it.”
Washington finished the game giving up just one more run and achieved their first win over Mission (7-10, 5-3 in AAA) this season.
“Man, they’re one of the best teams in our league,” Monterrosa said. “It’s good to get a win over them.”