NEWARK -- Washington High pitcher Brandon Sewell was his own best friend in the Huskies' 10-4 win over Newark Memorial in Mission Valley Athletic League baseball on Friday.
Sewell, who gutted out five innings to collect the victory, walking 10, was also 3 for 4 with a double, triple and home run, in that order.
"He turned it on later in the game," Washington coach Michael Sewell said of his son's effort. "He actually became the Brandon of old. He's a bulldog. Obviously started throwing harder -- and it's nice when his bat is on."
The Huskies and Cougars entered the day in a three-way tie with James Logan for first place. Washington (12-4, 5-1) is now alone in the top spot with its victory, coupled with Logan's loss to Irvington.
Logan and Washington will meet in a big game on May 10 in Union City, when the Huskies will get a chance to avenge a 5-2 loss this week.
Friday's battle in Newark looked like it would be a high-scoring cliffhanger.
The Huskies scored three in the second inning to lead 3-0, but Newark responded with four in the third -- an inning in which Sewell walked four combating an apparently tight strike zone. Newark's Tommy Gallagher's two-run triple highlighted the rally.
"The umpire was squeezing me a little bit," Brandon Sewell said, "but the other umpire was talking me through it: 'Just keep fighting through it,' so I took his advice and blocked everything out and kept on fighting."
Asked if his arm was getting tired, and Sewell said no.
"My arm starts warming up later," he said.
Newark coach Phil Castellanos said his young team (11-5, 4-2) didn't take advantage of its opportunities.
"We had bases loaded early a few times with the heart of our lineup up, and he just made pitches," Castellanos said. "Hit the ball hard, just right at guys. A couple of big double plays changed some innings, but we just got to keep battling.
"We're young, but that's not an excuse any more. We got to just keep going."
The Huskies also got a big game from leadoff Nick Quejado, who was a home run away from the cycle, scoring twice and driving in three.
"Mr. Quejado is the party starter for us. When he goes, we go," coach Sewell said.
With two outs in the fourth, Quejado beat an infield single after grounding the ball past first base. It was a big play because Sewell followed with an RBI triple that put Washington ahead to stay, 5-4.
The Huskies' Jacob Call was another igniter on offense. He singled, stole two bases and scored in the fourth to tie the game, and also walked, stole a base and scored as the leadoff in a five-run sixth that the broke the game open.
The big blow of the sixth was Sewell's massive two-run homer to left, which followed Quejado's two-run triple. Washington outfielder Latrell Harris walked and scored on a sacrifice fly to complete the Huskies' big rally. In the bottom of the inning, Harris ran in several steps and made a terrific diving catch in center field to rob Newark's Edgar Gonzalez of a hit.