Jim Hunt

Jim Hunt, contributing sports writer

Register file photo

1921: Maxwell Murray led the St. Helena High Thunderbirds to an 11-10 win over Napa High thanks to a two-run double in the bottom of the 10th inning. It was Murray’s fourth double of the game, still the school record after 96 years.

1941: The Saints track team took first place in the sixth annual St. Helena 20-30 Club track and field meet. SHHS won with 31 1/2 points, and the next three schools in the standings were Healdsburg with 26 points, Sonoma 18, and Benicia 14. Fifteen other schools competed.

1957: The Saints finished in second place in a 5-way track meet hosted by Healdsburg. First-place winners were: Charlie Huggins, 120 high hurdles (15.9), and the broad jump (20’ 7”); Paul Padilla, discus (112’ 4”); Tom Rand, 440-meter (53.9); and Bud Berg, 880 (2:12.5).

1962: In baseball, the Saints beat Cloverdale 8-4 in Cloverdale. Ray Myers was 3 for 4 with two doubles, a triple and three RBIs. Andy Vanderschoot was the winning pitcher as he scattered eight hits and struck out six.

1973: The baseball team defeated Clear Lake, 9-8, on Carpy Field. Claude Messina was 3 for 3 with a home run, a triple, and three RBIs. Andy Navone was the winning pitcher.

1981: In St. Helena, Sarah Brown broke the girls’ school record in the mile run with a time of 5:57.3.

1985: The boys tennis team beat Clear Lake 5-0 in Lakeport for their 37th consecutive North Central League I win. Match winners: Scott Carston, No. 1 singles; Cameron Lim, No. 2 singles; Steve Bowers, No. 3 singles; Tim Howell and Chandler Phillips, No. 1 doubles; Jim White and David Duckhorn, No. 2 doubles.

Plus: ‘Round and ‘Round and ‘Round We Bat

Since winning the North Bay League II title in 1947, SHHS baseball had again fallen on hard times. In four seasons, 1948-1951, the Saints had an overall record of 17-32, and had won just nine of 24 league games. The first five games of 1952 were no different and, entering this game at Kelseyville, the Saints had managed to win just one of the five.

The Saints and Indians, Kelseyville’s former mascot before switching to the Knights, had battled evenly through the first six innings of the contest, and the score was tied 5-5 going into the top of the seventh. What happened then is almost unbelievable, as the Saints sent 19 men to the plate and proceeded to score 13 runs.

Here’s how it happened.

Mason Hoburg led off with a single, followed by a walk issued to Harold McCollum. Bob Gallagher then doubled, driving in Hoburg and McCollum, giving the Saints the lead, 7-5.

Roy Raymond then came to the plate and promptly blasted a homer, driving in Gallagher and himself, and St. Helena was on top 9-5.

Harland Morley followed that by drawing a base on balls. Bob Gagetta then flied out to deep-center field, and Morley advanced to second base on the play. Frank Martinez smashed a double, scoring Morley, and the Saints led 10-5.

Rich Dal Porto reached on an error, and Martinez moved to third, then Ken Grubbs popped up for the second out.

Hoburg came to the plate for the second time in the inning and singled, driving in Martinez from third and moving Dal Porto to second. The Saints’ lead was now up to 11-5.

A passed ball moved Dal Porto to third and Hoburg to second, then McCollum singled, driving-in both runners, and the score was 13-5.

Gallagher drew a walk, and McCollum moved up to second. Raymond followed that with an infield single. Neither runner was able to advance on the play so the bases were loaded.

Morley came up to bat and promptly doubled, driving in McCollum and Gallagher. Raymond moved to third, and the lead had soared to 15-5.

Gagetta reached first on a base on balls with Raymond remaining at third. Martinez was also issued a free pass, loading the bases again.

Dal Porto then singled, driving in Raymond and Gagetta, and Martinez advanced to second. The Saints now led 17-5.

Grubbs followed Dal Porto’s single with a base hit driving in Martinez, and the score was 18-5.

Hoburg, in his third at bat of the inning, hit a shot toward left but the Kelseyville shortstop made a great, diving catch for the third out to finally retire the side.

The 13 runs scored in one inning was the school record at the time, topped by the 1977 team, which scored 15 in one inning against Willits, and the 19 batters in an inning was also a school record and remains the second-most in a single inning. The same 1977 team holds the record with 21.

This crazy win also seemed to ignite the Saints, as they went on to win five of their next six games and share the NBL II championship with Cloverdale at 5-1.

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