By Phil Dailey
Never count out the La Jolla Country Day baseball team. Not as long as they still have a chance to bat.
The Torreys faced a two-run deficit against cross-town rival La Jolla High on Monday as they headed into the top of the seventh inning. Needing two runs to keep the game alive, sophomore Dustin Hughes came up big with a two-run double to send the game to extra innings tied at 3-3.
“That was his most significant hit of the year, really,” La Jolla Country Day coach John Edman said.
From there, Country Day took over, notching three runs in the top of the eighth to secure the win against the Vikings. 6-3.
“We actually have a really mentally tough team, which is great,” Edman said. “We have won a bunch of games late. Either tie ball games that we win or ball games that we’re down by a couple and we come back and win — that’s probably been our biggest mark, our mental toughness, especially late in the ball game.”
Not only did the Torreys (10-3 overall) come up with clutch hits in the late innings, they also got a superior effort on the mound from Sam Ayala to close out the game.
For the Vikings (6-8 overall), they got off to 3-0 lead after the first four innings as Bobby Schuman, Max Needham and Kevin Usselman all drove in runs in the fourth inning.
But the early lead proved to not be enough as the Torreys rallied in the top of the eighthw, led by three straight hits from Austin Rooke, Anthony Torres and Alex Guenette to notch the go-ahead runs.
“Our lineup is very deep,” Edman said. “We go all the way down our lineup with threats to score.”