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Chatsworth beats Birmingham 3-0 in tense West Valley League baseball opener

The Chancellors used pitchers Josh Pollack and Jose Ruedas to shut out the Patriots.

CHATSWORTH, Calif. - In the third inning, the expletives flew. And after the seventh, both teams shook hands. 

Welcome to West Valley League baseball - an exciting mixture of crazy, competitive fun where there's rarely a dull moment. 

Chatsworth hosted Birmingham to kick off league play on Tuesday and the Chancellors won 3-0, but two-and-a-half innings into the game there was controversy. 

Chatsworth's John Cerda reached base on an error, which scored the Chancellors' second run of the game, but Birmingham head coach Matt Mowry immediately came out of the Patriots' dugout to argue that Cerda's bat had too much pine tar on it.

The umpire agreed, but instead of calling Cerda out and taking the Chatsworth run off the board, which is the LA City Section rule, he only forbid Chatsworth from using the bat for the rest of the game. Mowry officially filed protest with the umpire after that decision and the game continued, but before the next pitch was thrown, Mowry and Chatsworth head coach Marcus Alvarado got into a shouting match.

"At first, I thought [Mowry] was just trying to slow down the game," Alvarado said. "Until after the fact, [Mowry] was talking about the pine tar that was too high. I mean I haven't seen that. [Cerda's] been using the bat. I'm not one of those guys that's trying to beat the rules."

After the coaches were separated, Birmingham brought in junior reliever Kaden Taque who induced an inning ending double play with Chatsworth up 2-0. 


Since Birmingham was already down 1-0 at the time of the protest - courtesy of an RBI single from Barry Menjivar - and the Patriots didn't score a run in the game, the league opener will stand as a 3-0 Chatsworth win. 

"At this point it's a moot point, but it is what it is," Mowry said. 


Chancellors' starter Josh Pollack threw six shutout innings for Chatsworth, striking out six batters to earn the win. The lefty used a beautiful breaking ball to get out of a couple of jams in the game. Jose Ruedas recorded the save. 

"It was a great game," Pollack said. "My defense behind me, they were the greatest today. It felt good going out there, shoving for them. My coaches always have my back. You can't describe this feeling, it's the best."

Chatsworth will travel to Lake Balboa for the second game of their series against Birmingham on Friday afternoon.