Bishop Amat too tough in CIF Division V quarterfinals
San Marino’s season comes to an end as Bishop Amat scores 13 runs in the first two innings, including 11 in the second, en route to a 15-1 victory over the Titans.
Above: San Marino had a tough day in a 15-1 loss to Bishop Amat. (Correspondent photo by Larry Goren)
My thoughts: Bishop Amat is, by far, the best team I’ve seen in person this season. They’re like a machine with literally no apparent weaknesses.
I did get a kick out of watching Lancers head coach Andy Nieto at the edge of the dugout and as third-base coach.
He could be called the Billy Martin of high school coaching and he knows how to work the umpires, the crowd and the opposing team. He’s always chirping at the umps and even got a couple of calls reversed.
If Amat doesn’t win the championship, I’d have to call it a disappointing season. Having said that, I don’t see anyone beating the Lancers.
By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
SAN MARINO – It’s hard to find a hole in the Bishop Amat High School baseball team’s batting order.
And it didn’t take too long for the Lancers to put host San Marino in a hole.
It proved to be a hole the Titans couldn’t escape as they suffered a 15-1 loss in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division V playoffs Friday on a soggy, dreary and chilly afternoon at McNamee Field.
The win sends the defending champion Lancers (25-4) to Tuesday’s semifinals, where they will play Del Rey League mate Bishop Montgomery at a site to be determined by a coin flip.
“They’re as good as advertised all across the board from every position to the coaching staff,” San Marino coach Mack Paciorek said. “If anything, it’s a benchmark for other programs to say we want to get there, and I thought we made huge strides in our program this year. As the saying goes, `Rome wasn’t built in a day,’ so we take it from here.”
Bishop Amat needed just two innings to build a lead the size of Rome.
Jordan Fox was 3 for 3 with two home runs, including a grand slam, and five RBIs to lead the Lancers’ 11-hit attack.
“Our game plan was to come out and swing the bats because our bats had been silent the first couple of games,” Fox said. “This game, we just wanted to come out and hit the ball as hard as we could.”
Justin Herrera was 2 for 3 with a homer, a double and two RBIs.
Herrera got Amat going in the first inning with a one-out, homer over the center-field fence, his first of the season.
“It was a great feeling,” Herrera said. “I’ve been consistent most of the year trying to get a hit a game and not really thinking about hitting a home run. And, finally, it just came.”
Keith Murakami’s sacrifice fly gave the Lancers a 2-0 lead. Murakami collected two RBIs on the afternoon.
Bishop Amat starter Paul Paez (10-0) threw just seven pitches to get San Marino (17-7-1) out in order. The Lancers, who had collected just five hits in a 5-0 victory over La Puente in the second round, then sent 16 men to the plate in an 11-run second inning that lasted nearly an hour.
“Some of our guys were pressing and trying to do too much and, today, it was good to just see us have fun,” Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto said.
Fox got the fun started with a single, followed by a double by Herrera and an infield error on a grounder by Andrew Mistone to make it 5-0.
With his team leading 9-0, Fox returned to the plate and delivered a grand slam over the tall screen in right field to cap the inning.
“We knew we could not make mistakes because they bring their `A’ Game every single game and you have to match them with seven innings of `A’ baseball, and we didn’t give them that,” Paciorek said.
Fox hit a solo homer to right-center in the sixth, and pinch hitter Justin Grijalva singled in a run in the seventh to close out Amat’s scoring.
“We’re used to scoring lots of runs, and having just five hits (against La Puente) just motivated (us) and kept us pumped to come out and hit the ball,” Fox said.
Said Herrera: “We struggled a little bit last game, but during practice we just put that behind us and moved forward.”
Paez took a perfect game into the fifth, when he gave up an infield single to Chandler Caldwell.
San Marino broke Paez’s shutout bid in the sixth on a force out off the bat of Nick Wilson.
Paez allowed a run on two hits in six innings, striking out eight.
“In all honesty, through three it was as ugly as anything, and over the last four it was respectable,” Paciorek said. “There were a lot of positives in those last four innings.”
Despite the lopsided defeat, Paciorek was encouraged by his team’s performance in his first season as head coach.
“We take all the positives out of this season and we look at this game actually as an opportunity to learn what we need to do to become the program that we want to be,” Paciorek said.