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Mountain View puts an end to Lions’ season

By Jared Green, Daily Planet Staff
Thursday July 18, 2002

Depleted Berkeley/Albany lineup can’t solve
Mountain View pitchers in state tournament


The Berkeley/Albany Lions’ season ended Wednesday night in a 3-1 loss to Mountain View in the Babe Ruth state tournament in San Leandro. 

The Lions, playing with a weakened lineup due to several key absences, managed to scratch across just one unearned run in the sixth inning as Mountain View’s Brian Johnson and Todd Frassotti combined to allow just three hits in the game. 

Berkeley/Albany’s best chance came right out of the gate, as a walk and two singles loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first inning. But Benny Goldenberg struck out and Joe Storno grounded out to end the inning without a run crossing the plate. 

“They did a pretty good job pitching against us today,” Berkeley manager Joe Pinguelo said. “We weren’t able to hit them very well. When we didn’t produce in the first inning, that really hurt us.” 

While the Lions were doing nothing with a lot of baserunners, Mountain View was efficient in the first three innings, taking advantage of three walks by Lions starter Randy Renn. Matt Martinez led off the first with a free pass, advanced to third on two groundouts and scored on an opposite field flare by Matt Means. 

Mountain View scored the deciding runs in the third. After two quick outs, Renn lost the plate and walked two batters. Means followed with another single, this one a line drive just over the leap of second baseman Derek Yow, scoring Jack Chapman from second.  

Bryan Beres’ single to center scored Johnson, although Berkeley/Albany centerfielder Chase Moore gunned down Means at the plate for the third out. Renn didn’t allow another hit in the game, but the three runs stood up. 

Moore led off with a double to start the next inning, but was called out for leaving early while tagging up on a flyball despite the protests of the Lions coaching staff. 

Franklin led off the sixth with his third straight walk and went to second on a wild pitch before scoring on an error by Mountain View shortstop Will Norton. The Lions had two men on with two outs, but Storno grounded out to second base. 

Three missing starters depleted the Berkeley/Albany bench, forcing Pinguelo to put every available player in the lineup. The result was an 0-for-13 day by the last five batters in the Lions order, which effectively snuffed any chance of an extended rally. 

“I definitely think that if we had our full roster here, we would have won this game,” said Pinguelo, who had to work the phones all afternoon just to get a full lineup. “It’s tough when you only have nine ballplayers show up.” 

Ricky Arias extended a ray of hope with a leadoff walk in the seventh, but Frassetti struck out the next three batters to end the game. 

Regardless of the disappointing finish, Pinguelo said he was satisfied with the summer season. The Lions advanced to the state tournament for the third straight year and were just two wins away from the championship game. 

“It’s been a fantastic season,” he said. “To get back to the state championships and come in in the top four, it’s nice to see for the kids.”