The Aztecs scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning on Friday against host Schurr and held on to win, 9-6. Every team has its nemesis, and for the Mark Keppel High baseball team, that has been Schurr over the years.
Losing the last 37 of 39 against the Spartans - including two this season, the Aztecs finally decided to exact some revenge.
With the bases loaded, center fielder Matt Chidez pulled off a successful squeeze bunt, scoring junior shortstop Max Katz who scored three runs on the day while going 4-for-4 as Keppel took a 7-6 lead.
After scoring another run on a bases loaded walk, Keppel sealed the win on a single to right center field by first baseman Jonathan Espinoza. Espinoza was 2-for-4 on the day with a run scored and an RBI. Scoring was second baseman Andrew Fraire, who went 1-for-3 with two runs scored.
Taking the loss for Schurr was Christian Madrid. Madrid fell to 0-5 on the season. He pitched an inning and a third and allowed three runs on three hits with one walk, one strikeout and he hit one batter.
Schurr fell to 3-10 overall and 3-4 in Almont League play.
Spartan coach Ken Marrero said the Aztecs just outplayed them.
"Keppel played well," he said. "They simply wanted it more. They deserved to win. They played hard. (Keppel coach Houston Hernandez) has them playing hard."
Not just did Keppel beat Schurr, but the Aztecs won their first game of the year and their first game with Hernandez at the Helm. The Aztecs improved to 1-13 overall and 1-6 in league.
The win also avenged earlier losses this season to Schurr of 17-4 and 12-8, something Hernandez was very aware of.
"It felt great," Hernandez said of picking up the victory. "Not only to get the win, but I got my first win as head coach. It's also our first win against Schurr in many years."
Picking up the win for the Aztecs in relief was Nick Leonard. Leonard threw three solid innings, giving up one run on five hits to go along with a strikeout.
"It's the best he's pitched all year," Hernandez said of Leonard. "Under the circumstances, he gave us the chance to win the game at the end."
Starting the game for the Aztecs was Lucas Talbot, a sophomore just called up from junior varsity. Talbot pitched three innings and gave up three runs on five hits and four walks.
"He did great," Hernandez said of Talbot's performance. "He kept us there. I was just hoping to get one or two innings out of him. We were trying to give Schurr a different look. (Talbot) came through for us. He got the game ball. He set the tone for us. He didn't give up a hit until the third inning."