There was magic in the air at Blair Field on Tuesday night, and Poly junior pitcher Chris Castellanos managed to grab all of it. Facing Wilson ace Chase DeJong, Castellanos turned in a perfect game, retiring all 21 Bruins batters in order in a 1-0 Poly victory.

“This is the most excited I’ve ever been in my entire life,” said Castellanos after the game. Moments prior, he’d signed a game ball for the umpires to put in their union office. There have been some quality pitchers in Poly’s history, but neither Jim George (c/o 68, two national championships at USC and a career with the A’s) nor James McDonald (c/o ’02, All-CIF and All-State, currently with the Pirates) can lay claim to a perfect game. To have done it against a quality team like Wilson makes it that much more historic—it will require some research, but it’s unlikely a Poly pitcher has ever thrown a perfect game against the Bruins.

“Chris pitched his heart out and he deserves all the credit,” said DeJong after the game. “He made every pitch he could tonight—he was perfect.”

“He put it all together,” said Poly coach Toby Hess. “He had all three pitches working. When he does that, he’s tough to hit. He was really pitching tonight, he was carving people up.”

The game flew by until the fourth inning, as both Castellanos and DeJong held their opponents hitless in the first three frames. Castellanos, as usual, did it with well-placed pitches and a lot of ground balls (the first five Wilson outs), while DeJong blew people away, striking out seven of the first nine Poly batters.

In the top of the fourth, Poly’s Frankie Rios put a hard-hit single up the middle to get on, and stole second. Catcher Matt Maccarrone’s throw to second base was on time, and Tim Richards appeared to make the tag. But Rios dodged it, moving into scoring position. Jeff Turley hit a sharp single through the right side, scoring Rios for the game’s only run.

DeJong didn’t allow another runner past first base, striking out five. But the way Castellanos and his defense were able to make every play was the story of the night. He helped himself out by climbing the ladder for a high ball to end the third inning, and his teammates made some great plays as well. Turley ran down a deep fly ball to end the fourth inning, and third baseman Peter Fierros’ first out of the seventh inning raised blood pressures in the Poly dugout.

Tim Richards hit the ball hard to third, and Fierros couldn’t make the play cleanly, but was able to knock the ball down. He scooped it up and winged it to first base just in time, as Brock Meckelborg stretched to get the ball for the out. Then Britt Barmeyer, pinch hitting for Ryan Emma, hit a ball to second baseman Julian Griego, who made the play. Finally, Brett Harper (the team’s normal leadoff man, entering for the first time as a pitch hitter) grounded out to Fierros, and Poly’s whole roster ran out to mob Castellanos.

The crafty junior struck out five, got 13 Bruins to ground out, and only allowed three balls out of the infield. The last out recalled a moment last year against Cabrillo, when Castellanos had a perfect game through six innings and two outs, before walking the final batter on four balls. “I was more comfortable this year,” he said. “I’d never been in that situation before last year. Coach Claybough, our pitching coach, told me to just attack the last out like a lead out. I had nothing to lose.”

To their credit, most of the Wilson fans stood and applauded Castellanos as his team celebrated, showing great sportsmanship in recognizing a great performance by an opponent, even as the defeat moved them into third place in the league.

The win puts Poly (17-3, 5-1) into good position as the top team chasing Lakewood, who are undefeated in league. Poly will play the Lancers next Tuesday at Blair Field.

DeJong came out with the hard-luck loss for the third time this year, giving up four hits and striking out twelve in a 1-0 loss. That’s his exact line from a 1-0 loss to Lakewood, as well. It’s the third straight 1-0 defeat for the Bruins, who haven’t scored a run in 23 innings. Wilson (14-6, 4-2) now need to win out and hope Poly can beat Lakewood, or that Millikan can upset either the Lancers or Jackrabbits. Their next game is Friday, at home on their campus field against Cabrillo at 3:15pm. 

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  • Sports Guy Mike Guardabascio has been writing professionally for a decade, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards and is the author of the historical book "Football in Long Beach."

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andy hall is not a good coach!!!

-Former wilson baseball player

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Even when u are the underdog at any sport,your heart pumps harder than usual but when u an expectator at a baseball game, no matter what the school,level or teams are playing,when u the underdog and beat the favorite team,those hearts are pumping like crazy,me as an expectator,my heart is pumping to witness high school history,when or how often u see history in the making at a high school baseball game?

-former jordan panther player

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I think a little perspective is in order. Sure the Bruins offense has been struggling but if you include CC (which I do) at least (3) out of the last (4) pitchers Wilson's faced are considered top pitchers in So Cal. Last I heard good pitching beats good hitting most days. This was a great performance by (from what I hear) a great kid.

-BB FAN

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Quit complaining,
Everyone's problem is that they look ahead and never behind them. If there is freshman player better than a senior then the best should play period.
If the senior is not that good for high school over a freshman then it is what it is, or maybe the senior should work harder. Sorry but that is the truth.

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Hey lay off of Andy... It wasn't like that attempted bunt with 2 strikes was in the bottom of the 7ths against Lakewood down 1-0 and attempted by a freshman DH in the lineup for his power...

Time to let the Seniors Play

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Oh - and don't forget a couple of games ago having a hitter try to bunt with 2 strikes on him AND having bunted foul on both of those

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Outcoached? What? Not much you can do genius when there are no hits and no baserunners. You are just a hater

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To all - What you all thinking?????? It ain't over yet.

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I believe it is time to give up the game if you get out coached bt Toby Hess

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No Harper in the line-up? What up? Andyeah, maybe they shuld have done some hit and runs to manufacturer a run? That was funny!

-Fan 1

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Last night was my first baseball game of the year and was treated to a Perfect Game. Congratulations the the young C Castellanos, last Perfect Game I saw a guy named Sandy Koufax was pitching, CC looked to be in total control of his pitches and his mound presents could not have been better, you would never realize he was in the process of pitching a Perfect Game. May there be many more great moments for him

That said, can anyone but Andy Hall explain what he is thinking. I have played the game and coached the game, sometimes by the book and sometimes with a gut feeling, but it would be hard for me to explain the logic of a left handed DH against a left handed pitcher removing your starting right handed CF and replacing the CF with your pinch hitter who is now unalbe to hit. Oh lets not forget that the starting CF is your leadoff hiter being replaced by your 3 hole hitter. There was once a coach in LB that was know for making up his lineup based on the arrival of the players, first one there hit first and played first, so on and so on. Maybe that coach and Andy are some how related. There is no lack of office at Wilson only a lack of a good coaching mind and some Fun. Baseball should be fun next time you go to a Wilson game see if you think andy is having fun, the kids sure are not.

Start something positive and end with something positive. There is a good ball team hidden somewhere in the Wilson dugout, we just need to find it. Went to see my first game of year, only the team I went to see did not win, but Wow a perfect game, just have great is that, For Love of the Game.

-Love of the Game

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Good point Mr. Baseball. Maybe Wilson should have tried more sacrifices or hit and runs, maybe a steal. There should be a minimal amount of knowledge before you can post a comment.

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Never EVER lose a 1 run game!

A GOOD coach can always manufacture a run!!!!

Wilson is a solid team that needs an "offensive mind."

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Wilson is Millikan if they don't have DeJong. It would be interesting to see how Hall would do if he didn't have Hicks and now DeJong. Maybe not Millikan, closer to Cabrillo.

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Removed? Fired? What are going to say next? He's in between jobs Obama. Bottom line is Wilson score runs and in the past they did. Why the sudden change? Answer Brakebill!!

Wilson is a great team? Uh no. Good team yeah, great team nope.

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Wilson is a great team. Let's not jump on the "stupid comment-bag-on", bandwaggon! Geez

-fan 1

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Brakebill was not fired. He tired to fight a player last year and had to be removed from his coaching duties. Get the facts right before you post untruths.

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Where's Brakebill? He'll get them hitting. Good firing there Andy!! Ya Putz. How frickin beautiful is it that wilson now needs help from Lakewood BAHAHAHAHAHA BAHAHAHAHAH!! LOVE IT. I'm sure the Lakewood boys are more than happy to help them because they are just nice boys like that but wilson should be nice too and say please.

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special stuff from a special kid :)

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im printing this and saving it. couldn't happen to a better kid. can someone at poly put this on school loop please?

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Congrats Poly boys and congrats CC. You're an amazing kid on and off the field and deserve all your success. Perfect game. Wow. Great job.