Castañeda’s Walk-Off Single Gives Legends 3-2 Win
A pinch-hit walk-off single by Andrew Castañeda gave the Menlo Park Legends a 3-2 victory over the visiting Southern Oregon Riverdawgs in the teams’ rubber match yesterday at Cañada College in Redwood City.
With a 2-2 tie ball game, the bases loaded and slugger CJ Jacobe at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, Legends’ manager David Klein decided pinch hit Castañeda, who hadn’t taken an at-bat in two weeks. And his decision paid off.
“Andrew is a contact hitter who doesn’t strike out a lot,” he said. “My gut feeling was to put him in there. I knew he’d give us a competitive at bat, and he did.”
Castañeda walked up to the plate with the same approach as he always takes, see the ball, hit the ball, and delivered on the second pitch.
“I went up there and thought see ball, hit ball,” Castañeda said. “I mean, to me, it’s not about thinking about the moment—it’s the same, regular at bat. But oh man it felt good.”
Legends starting pitcher Alon Leichman threw seven solid innings, fanning five Riverdawgs and allowing a single run off of four hits. The Riverdawgs were able to attack Legends reliever Ryan Reese in the eighth inning and add another run. Ricky Guerrero then came in and struck out a batter and with men in scoring position and a tie game in the top of the ninth, Joe Goldenberg struck out the one batter he faced.
Pete Woodall and Tyger Pederson each had two hits apiece, but other than for them and Castañeda, the Legends’ bats were fairly quiet.
Looking down the road, the Legends have a tough stretch of games prior to the Far West League Playoffs. The team has a two game series versus the league rival Nor Cal Longhorns and then take on the Neptune Beach Pearl, one of the top teams in the Far West League.
“The competition from here on out is only going to get better and stronger, and we just need to keep on coming out and giving our best effort,” Klein said. “We’re winning lots of games—we’re winning tight games, and all the guys are playing well together. As long as we keep winning we will be locked in the playoffs.”
The Legends (27-12) host the Nor Cal Longhorns tomorrow at 5:00pm at Cañada College.
-Max Darrow, Legends Sportswriter