May 4, 2005
Six of the first eight pitches Jeremy Greenhalgh threw Tuesday were balls and eight pitches into the game that would decide his team’s playoff fate, the McClintock senior was sliding quickly into trouble.
That’s when Greenhalgh rescued himself and quite possibly the Chargers’ season.
Greenhalgh picked off San Luis’ lead-off hitter, struck out the Sidewinders’ No. 2 batter and then cruised in a 4-0 McClintock victory that clinched the three-game Skyline Region playoff series and sent the Chargers to the 4A state baseball tournament.
McClintock (20-11) will open the state tourney on the road Saturday at 11 a.m. against the Desert Sky Region’s second seed.
Greenhalgh allowed just five hits and struck out seven. Only two San Luis (16-12) base runners reached second base.
"He was up in the zone with the first hitter. He was up in the zone with the second hitter. Whether it be jitters or whatever the case might be, he was struggling a little bit," said McClintock coach Harold Bull.
"They decided to run and we got that pick and it was a big play. If he steals second base and he walks a guy, you never know what’s going to happen.
"Sometimes you score your runs in the first inning and that’s all you need."
After Greenhalgh got the Chargers out of the first his teammates got him all the runs he would need in their half of the inning.
Justin Anderson, the hard-luck loser of Saturday’s 2-1 first game, stroked an opposite-field double to score Vicente Pineira and then scored along with Jimmy Patterson on a Sidewinders error.
Anderson scored again on Kyle Heckathorn’s sixthinning single.
"It’s comfortable," Greenhalgh said about pitching with an early lead.
"You just know you’re coasting. You don’t have anything to look back on because you’re ahead of them. All you have to do is look forward."
Greenhalgh, Anderson and Patterson gave up just two runs in the series’ three games.