SAN MARCOS Mt. Carmel High alumnus Billy Beane preaches patience at the plate as a cornerstone to his Moneyball tactics, but had he witnessed what Kenny Pyle did for his alma mater Friday, Beane would have been hard-pressed to argue the senior’s approach.
With the score tied in the sixth and a runner on second with two outs, Pyle swung at the first pitch he saw and lined a single to left field that delivered the go-ahead run in the Sundevils’ 4-3 victory over El Centro Southwest at Cal State San Marcos. Pyle’s hit lifted Mt. Carmel to the San Diego Section Division IV title, its seventh championship and first since 1996.
“I was looking for a fastball over the plate and down,” Pyle explained. “That’s what he threw me. In that situation, I knew I had to be aggressive.”
Sixth-seeded Mt. Carmel didn’t have a hit the first time through its lineup but scratched out a run in the fourth and plated three in the sixth. Brody Prows drilled an 0-2 pitch up the middle to drive in two and tie the game, setting up Pyle’s heroics.
The Sundevils (13-21) backed into the playoffs after a difficult regular season, then won five straight postseason games.
“The boys kept finding ways to win,” Sundevils coach Chachi Mueller said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”