San Marino defeats the Vikings 5-1 to advance to a quarterfinal showdown against Bishop Amat.
Above: San Marino players celebrate after Nick Wilson drove in the go-ahead run in the fourth inning during the Titans 5-1 win over Campbell Hall. (Staff photo by Keith Birmingham)
My thoughts: San Marino pitcher Nick Wilson did enough to keep the Viking bats at bay and drove in the winning run with a single.
The crowd was outstanding and there was a new touch thrown in with sound effects to give the feel of a minor league atmosphere. The big-bad Lancers of Amat will get a taste of the atmosphere on Friday. It’s a tough matchup for San Marino, but stranger things have happened.
By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
SAN MARINO — In his first season as head baseball coach, San Marino High School’s Mack Paciorek is intent on building his program for the future.
On Tuesday, the Titans took a major step forward.
San Marino pushed across three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie en route to a 5-1 victory over visiting Campbell Hall in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division V playoffs.
“It’s huge because we keep moving on from here, but the reality is we’re trying to make a statement on where this program is and where we’re trying to take it,” Paciorek said. “These players are making a statement, and they’re coming out here and letting people know that we are for real and we are serious.”
Senior right-hander Nick Wilson was all business on the mound, as well as at the plate.
Wilson (10-1) pitched seven strong innings while allowing seven hits, one earned run and striking out three to collect the victory.
The senior got out of jams in the second, the sixth with the bases loaded and the seventh to propel San Marino (17-6-1) into Friday’s quarterfinals, where it will host defending champion and No. 1-seed Bishop Amat.
“The coach calls the pitches and I just try to execute them,” Wilson said. “I know I have a good defense, and they make the plays when I need it and I rely on them.”
Added Paciorek: “Every effort he gives us, he just goes out there and gives you every ounce of himself.”
Wilson also gave a little bit at the plate
Dylan Bensinger followed with a two-run double down the left-field line to give San Marino some breathing room.
“I just saw a lot of first-pitch strikes, so I went up there thinking I’m going to get a good pitch, and I got one and pulled it down the third-base line and knocked in a couple of runs,” Bensinger said. “It’s a huge win. San Marino hasn’t been here in 10 years and I have some cousins that go to Campbell Hall, so that’s always nice.”
Michael Thompson’s single in the fifth that knocked in Peter Brunette provided some window dressing.
Brunette got aboard all three times at the plate with a hit and a pair of walks and scored three runs.
The Titans took a 1-0 lead in the second on an error on a deep fly ball to center by Thompson.
Greg Zebrack tied the game in the third with a homer to left.
“People didn’t think we could beat this team, but we came out here and played our hearts out,” Wilson said.
San Marino, the third-place team from the Rio Hondo League, will enter Friday’s game as the prohibitive underdog against the Lancers (24-4).
“It’s huge that it’s here and we’ll have our fan support,” Wilson said. “We’re going to come out and do what we do — play with all our hearts and leave it all on the field.”