Reeves’ big blow sends Hart to fi­nal

Home run lead­ing off 10th in­ning pro­duces victory in Di­vi­sion 1 semi­fi­nal game.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Eric Sond­heimer eric.sond­heimer@la­ Twit­ter: LATSond­heimer

HART 3 SAU­GUS 2 (10 INN.)

It looked like a Santa Clarita Val­ley block party on a sun-drenched Tues­day af­ter­noon at Col­lege of the Canyons, where more than 1,000 spec­ta­tors sat in bleach­ers, sat un­der beach um­brel­las or stood 10 rows deep down the right-field line determined not to miss the South­ern Sec­tion Di­vi­sion 1 semi­fi­nal base­ball play­off game be­tween ri­vals Hart and Sau­gus.

The game went into the 10th in­ning tied when Robert Reeves of Hart hit a lead­off home run over the right-field fence. Se­nior sidearmer Sean Ward shut down the Cen­tu­ri­ons in the bot­tom of the 10th, en­abling the In­di­ans to come away with a 3-2 victory and earn their first trip to a Di­vi­sion 1 fi­nal.

“This team finds ways to win,” Coach Jim Ozella said.

Hart (20-9-1) will play Hunt­ing­ton Beach, a 4-0 win­ner over Norco, in Satur­day’s 7:30 p.m. fi­nal at San Manuel Sta­dium in San Bernardino.

Reeves had been teased by Ozella in prac­tice about his lack of power.

“Ozella is al­ways telling me I can’t get it over [the fence],” Reeves said. “He can’t make fun of me now.”

Sau­gus (20-10-1) tied the score, 2-2, in the sixth in­ning on a dou­ble by An­thony Donatella.

That’s when Ozella re­placed starter Paul Richan with Ward, who pro­ceeded to throw 42⁄3 innings.

Ward pat­terns him­self af­ter UCLA closer David Berg. It was Ozella’s sug­ges­tion to Ward more than a year ago to use a sidearm mo­tion.

“He’s al­ways been teach­ing peo­ple how to do it and has had suc­cess, so I’m re­ally happy,” Ward said. “I never had th­ese re­sults when I was throw­ing like I did be­fore.”

Hart will face a tough task against No. 2-seeded Hunt­ing­ton Beach, which got a four-hit­ter from Mitchell Ko­vary in its semi­fi­nal victory.

The big sur­prise of the day was turned in by Wal­nut in Di­vi­sion 3. Wal­nut up­set San Di­mas (31-1), 4-1, and will face Re­dondo in the 1 p.m. fi­nal in San Bernardino.

In Di­vi­sion 2, Mission Viejo will play Chino Hills in the 4 p.m. fi­nal.

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