After more than three hours of baseball, the umpire behind home plate in a game between Arroyo Grande High and Pioneer Valley had had enough.
With the scored knotted 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, the Eagles failed to score after loading the bases with none out, possibly thinking darkness might set in or maybe just wanting some dinner.
Coaches from both teams wanted to keep going. But the top of the 10th never happened.
The game was the first in a three-game series that could help decide the order of the PAC 7 standings.
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Arroyo Grande (11-6-2, 6-3-1) began the game in a three-way tie for first plac,e, but dropped to third with San Luis Obispo idle Tuesday and Righetti winning over Paso Robles.
For the Eagles, it was a game of missed opportunities after going up 4-0 ,and then loading the bases with nobody out in the ninth. They failed to convert after A.J. Cipolla, who had an RBI earlier in the contest, was thrown out attempting to score on a fly ball to left.
The Eagles also had a chance to wrap up the game ahead 4-3 going into the seventh, but then give up a run that sent the contest into extras.
The Eagles also got the leadoff man on base in their half of the seventh, but a bunt attempt led to the runner being thrown out at second, and the Eagles failed to score.
“We didn’t execute on offense, we didn’t execute when we needed to on D or the basepaths,” Arroyo Grande coach Brad Lachemann said. “We just didn’t get it done today.”
For the first four innings, it looked like the Eagles would cruise to victory over the Panthers (12-7-2, 6-6-2), highlighted by a second-
inning home run by Kyle Brown. Arroyo Grande scored two runs in the second and two in the third.
“It was a 3-1 fastball, and I got my hands extended on it,” Brown said. “I don’t think this is one of our better games, but we have them for two more this week against them and we’ll just have to do a little better.”
Brown’s homer came in the second inning after Cipolla’s RBI to second scored the Eagles’ first run.
The Eagles also scored two in the third, one on a Zack Brown groundout, and the second on a sharply hit single to left by Garrett Ball, who came into the game with a .450 batting average, good for third in the league, according stats entered on maxpreps.com.
Eagles senior righty Chris Davidson shut down the Panthers through the first four innings, blanking them and allowing only three hits by establishing his live fastball that Pioneer Valley had trouble squaring up.
But the lanky fireballer wavered a bit in the fifth, allowing a leadoff walk and some clutch Panther hits, including a two-out double by Angel Guillen to pull the game to 4-3.
Helping his cause at the plate, Davidson went 3 for 5 against Oscar Gil, a flame-thrower in his own right, entering with a 2.88 ERA.
Gil, who had the game-tying hit in the seventh, at one point threw over to first base about 10 times on Eagles shortstop Ryan Teixeira to keep him from stealing.
Later in the inning, Gil glared at Teixeira after he was caught in a run-down to end the inning.
Brown, who entered with a 1.34 ERA, came on in relief in the sixth and pitched a scoreless inning and then allowed a run in the top of the seventh, but made amends by shutting down the Panthers in the eighth and ninth to set up the anti-climactic tie.
Paul Ormonde had two bunt hits in the contest for the Eagles, and Dylan Azevedo had a smash double off the center field wall that just missed sailing over for a homer.
The two teams meet again today at Pioneer Valley at 4:30 p.m.