Balboa shows plenty of fight 

With each pitch Nik Fangolino fought off, Matt Thomas and the Balboa dugout grew more confident.

And after Fangolino started the top of the seventh inning with a double after nine pitches and four foul balls, it eventually was up to Thomas to finish the rally. The first baseman came through with a two-out, two-run single through the left side as the Buccaneers erased a three-run deficit in their final turn at the plate to defeat Lincoln 11-10 in an Academic Athletic Association baseball game Wednesday at West Sunset.

Balboa (12-14, 9-2 AAA) and Lincoln (9-2) are now tied for second place behind Lowell in the A Division and face off again today at 3:30 p.m. at Crocker Amazon Field No. 1. All three teams have already clinched playoff berths.

"Nik set the tone and once we saw him battling and come through with that hit, the whole bench was feeling it," Thomas said. "When I got up I just tried to stay calm and figure out how I was going to get those runners home."

Mairtin Steinkemp earned the win for the Buccaneers after allowing just one run in 2²/³ innings of relief. He retired the heart of the Lincoln lineup in order in the bottom of the seventh, the first time Balboa had done that all afternoon. The Buccaneers committed six errors — including two in Lincoln’s six-run first inning — and allowed eight unearned runs.

"I was surprised with our defense," Balboa coach John Tynan said. "But after that first inning, I told our guys there’s a lot of game left. And I’m real proud of the way they battled."

The Buccaneers got some confidence back in the top of the second, putting up five runs. The key blow came off the bat of Fangolino, who mashed a two-out, two-run triple and finished 3-for-3 with two triples and four RBIs. His second triple also drove in two runs with two outs and tied the game 7-7 in the top of the fourth.

"He’s a monster," Tynan said of his catcher.

Lincoln climbed back on top with three runs in the fifth as Sean Rogers, Benny Quan and BrandonLee came through with RBI hits. Balboa’s bats had been quiet in the fifth and sixth, but after Fangolino’s double in the seventh Gen Kurakata stroked an RBI single and Eric Lara ripped a run-scoring double to bring Balboa to within 10-9. Lara advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Hong Son and appeared poised to score the tying run on Carlos Frias’ hard-hit grounder, but Mustangs second baseman Devon Biagini made a diving catch and threw out Lara at the plate. Fernando Guatemala then came through with a clutch single and Anthony Armour walked, setting up Thomas, who had never had a game-winning hit before Wednesday’s.

ISA 10, Burton 4

Jerwin Leyson allowed just three hits over four innings before leaving with a leg cramp as the Cobras (5-7) bolstered their playoff hopes by beating the Pumas. Leyson walked one and struck out five before Adrian Rodriguez came in and pitched three solid innings. Derek Feaua’i led the ISA offense by going 3-for-4 with four RBIs.

— Staff report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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