NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Neither Chris Stroh or Julian Jarrad are one of the 25 pitchers listed on the Glendale Angelenos roster, but they were both called upon by Angelenos Coach Tony Riviera to close out Friday's game.
While the pair let one run slip through, Jarrad retired the final two batters of the game to pick up the save in the 4-3 victory over Long Beach Legend at Stengel Field.
"Stroh has been fantasy pitching in the outfield the entire season and I got a little tired of seeing it so I thought I'd let him put his money where his mouth is," said Riviera, whose team improved to 19-6 with the win. "We try to do stuff differently all the time to make the team feel a little bit loose and confident. Julian Jarrad is a guy who should be pitching and we are starting to get him ready for Glendale college next season by getting him some innings."
The Angelenos were forced to come from behind for the win yet again Friday. Long Beach scratched out the first two runs of the game and Glendale didn't take the lead until the bottom of the eighth inning when Matthew Tellesco drove in two runs with a bloop single to right field to put the Angelenos ahead for good, 4-2.
"We seem to come from behind and win a lot of games and when you can do that you have all the confidence in the world that you're not real concerned," Riviera said. "We played extremely good baseball."
There was also no concern on Riviera's part when Tellesco came to bat with two outs and the bases loaded.
"It was a professional at-bat," Riviera said. "When Matty came to the plate I knew right then and there he was going to get it done. I knew deep down inside, I would have been surprised if he didn't deliver."
Long Beach seemed to have Glendale contained in the bottom of the eighth until the Angelenos' Sako Chapjian took first base with one out on a dropped third strike. Glendale designated hitter Nicholas LaFace lined a single to left field to put Chapjian at second and John Schwer drew a walk to load the bases.
A Ruben Padilla strikeout gave the Angelenos two outs, which left it all up to Tellesco, who watched the first pitch before going the other way to score two runs.
"I was just looking for a fastball and I didn't get it the first time so I just waited back on it and put a pretty good swing on it," Tellesco said. "I was trying to go opposite field, as soon as I hit it I knew it had a good shot at getting down."
Legend had the tying run on third base with two outs when Daniel Catalan beat out an infield single to score Steven Garber, who was hit by a pitch by Stroh to lead off the inning, and cut the lead to 4-3. Jarrad recovered to close out the game with a groundout to second.
"It was definitely good to get some work in," Jarrad said. "I didn't throw too much last year but I've pitched all my life and it was good to come out tonight and get some reps."
Glendale's first two hitters in the lineup — Scott Hong and Ellis Whitman, respectively — combined for the Angelenos' first two runs in the fourth and sixth innings.
Hong, who finished three for four with two stolen bases, led off the fourth with an infield single and moved all the way to third when he stole second and took another base on a throwing error from the catcher.
Whitman, who was one for three with two runs batted in, cashed in Hong when he shot a line drive between the first and second basemen, cutting Long Beach's lead to one, 2-1.
Hong just missed a home run when he drove a ball off the left-center field fence for a double. He quickly stole third and scored on a slow chopper to third off Whitman's bat to knot the score.
Angel Rodriguez had a good start for Glendale. The right hander gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits, two walks and four strikeouts through five innings. Kyle McDorman (one hit in two innings) and Hector Gomez (two strikeouts in one inning) combined for three innings of scoreless relief for the Angelenos.
Josh Thompson generated Long Beach's first run practically on his own in the top of the first. The center fielder singled aboard, stole second and moved to third on an error before stealing home.
Legend mounted a mini two-out rally for its second run in the fourth inning. Anthony Razo bashed a two-out double over the center fielder and Daniel Callewaert drove him home with a line-drive single up the middle.