Dreams do come true.
We have proof.
Birmingham Community Charter High pitchers Eduardo Rosales and Armando Yanez had dreams the night before the 2017 City Section Division I title game about being the pitchers who brought the championship back to their school.
On Saturday, June 3, at Dodger Stadium, the two Patriots senior left-handers stood tall and unwavering on the mound against Chatsworth, helping fourth seed Birmingham knock off the top seed Chancellors, 4-3, giving Birmingham its second title in the past four years — both coming at the expense of Chatsworth — and fifth in school history.
Yanez started the game and held Chatsworth to one run and three hits over the first three innings. When he ran into trouble in the fourth, Rosales — who was on the 2014 team as a freshman, and was used as a pinch runner in the title game, scoring once — came in to relieve.
Rosales was running on fumes by the seventh inning, and gave up two late runs, but managed to get the final out.
“Honestly I was dreaming about this,” Yanez said. “My dream was coming up and playing Dodger Stadium, because my dad played here. I don’t remember what year, but he played for San Fernando. But [in his dream] I was on the mound and everything. I’m just happy it came to reality. It’s amazing.”
Rosales said his dream was simple and straightforward. “It was winning the City title again.”
For Chatsworth (29-6) it meant another denial of a 10th City championship. Since winning their last title in 2009 the Chancellors have gone 0-5 in the finals, a result that gets harder and harder for Coach Meusborn to accept, and one he’s probably growing weary of having to explain.
“We’re in a situation where we have to win, or it’s a failure of a season,” Meusborn said afterward. “Unfortunately, that’s where the bar is set for us. So it’s a little different situation for us. We’ve got to be able to handle that, being in that situation. We did what we needed to do with a week-and-a-half off. I thought we were ready to go.”
Patriots Coach Matt Mowry, while reveling in his team’s victory could empathize and sympathize.
“We’ve been in semifinals three of the last four years…some teams don’t get to do that,” Mowry said. “And with that  championship we realized how hard it is to get to Dodger Stadium and win it.”
Considering how Chatsworth had pounded Birmingham in their two West Valley League meetings by scores of 16-0 and 7-1, it was understandable if the Chancellors were expecting more of the same on Saturday.
But when the Patriots (26-9-1) scored the game’s first run on two singles and a sacrifice fly by Kevin Olmos in the top of the first inning, it sent a surge of believability through the Birmingham dugout.
“The big key for us was scoring early,” Mowry said. “That gave us a boost of confidence, getting that first run of the game. My guys know in a one-game situation, we can beat anybody.”
Chatsworth tied the score in the bottom of the third on a two-out double by Brandon Bohning, followed by a RBI single from Daniel Zakosek. But it was the next inning, the fourth, that would come to haunt the Chancellors this day.
Alex Milone, leading off, coaxed a walk out of Yanez. He went to second on a passed ball, and then to third on a base hit by Gabriel Gonzalez. Rosales, who started the game in centerfield, came in to relieve Yanez and promptly walked Zach Kaminkow to load the bases with no outs.
The Chancellors were poised to break the game open. But Rosales induced Miguel Marin to bounce into a double play (pitcher-to catcher-to first), and Randy Mata ended the threat by grounding out to shortstop.
“I tried to make sure I executed my pitches, make sure I got ahead in the count, and let them put the ball in play,” Rosales said. “If they put the ball in play, my guys get outs.”
“That was unbelievable,” Mowry said, of getting out of the inning with no runs allowed. “It’s so huge and it goes to the character of our team. That’s a spot right there where we could have easily folded, and that game could have gotten out of control real fast with Chatsworth — they’re that good of a team. You give them an opportunity like that and they often blow you out of the water.”
Meusborn wasn’t disheartened — yet.
“It was still early,” he said. “That happens in baseball. We’re still gonna fight. We fought right there. Our guys didn’t quit. We just had a chance to get the lead and didn’t get the lead.”
Birmingham, however, retook the lead in the fifth on a one-out triple by Rosales, and a two-out single by Matt Garcia. They would pad the lead to 4-1 with two more runs in the sixth. All three runs came against Josh Medina, who had switched from right field to pitch in relief of starter Thomas Gutierrez in the fourth.
Chatsworth seemed to be without hope until the bottom of the seventh, when Medina lined a two-run double into the left-centerfield gap with two outs, narrowing the score to 4-3. But Rosales, nearly out of gas, retired Milone on a short fly to center to end it.
When asked if he thought the Patriots had enough of a lead going into the bottom of the seventh, Mowry shook his head. “You never think that against Chatsworth. They’re so good they can come back from any deficit. But we never trailed in the playoffs. We were never behind in any game.”
And no matter what it did, Chatsworth couldn’t get ahead in this game.