Los Angeles, CA – Palisades mounted a furious comeback with a five-run fourth inning to tie it. Birmingham responded in the sixth inning with an RBI single by Kevin Olmos and a two-run double from Daniel Velazquez.
“I tried to focus on hitting the ball up the middle,” Olmos, who had three hits with three RBIs, said. “It feels good being the underdogs and proving everyone wrong once again.”
The No. 8 seed Birmingham Patriots held on to beat Palisades 9-5 and win its third consecutive CIF Los Angeles City Section Open Division title Saturday at Dodger Stadium.
Birmingham’s victory makes them the third team in City Section history to win three straight titles. Fremont won three titles in 1946, 1947 and 1948. Chatsworth three peated in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
“What an unbelievable battle, Palisades came to play,” Birmingham coach Matt Mowry said. “I’m so proud of my guys. They could’ve easily folded when Palisades got back into it and put the pressure on us but they didn’t.”
Palisades loaded the bases with one in the fifth inning when senior pitcher Sebastian Cueva came in for relief. Cueva struck out a batter and forced another batter into a popup to get out of the inning.
Cueva closed the game out no hits on four strikeouts and three walks while the Palisades pitching staff allowed six walks and hit five batters.
“I wanted the ball,” Cueva said. “I felt good. I have not pitched in like a week or two so I was a little iffy in the bullpen but once I came on, I knew I couldn’t be beat.”
Birmingham jumped all over Palisades starting pitcher Will Coquillard in the first inning, scoring three after loading the bases. The Patriots added a run in the fourth inning on an RBI single from Olmos.
Palisades had back-to-back walks with one out in the sixth inning but Lucas Braun struck out and catcher Johnny Tincher threw a runner out trying to steal second base to end the threat.
“It feels amazing (to three peat),” Mowry said. “Not many people have done that.