The Citrus Belt League that initially looked like Redlands’ to lose in baseball, now has Yucaipa and Redlands East Valley in the driver’s seat.
Yucaipa’s Tyler Sapp out-dueled Redlands ace Angel Landazuri on Friday as the Thunderbirds eked out a 1-0 victory at Redlands to
take over first place in the CBL. Yucaipa is now 15-8, 9-2, while Redlands drops to 19-4, 8-3. Redlands East Valley is 15-6, 8-2.
While Redlands is done playing both Yucaipa and REV, Yucaipa and REV play each other twice in the last week of the season.
Unless a game is cancelled for another reason, Redlands has a forfeit of a league game looming (because they scheduled too many games). Yucaipa and REV would each need to lose at least twice in their final four (in Yucaipa’s case) or five (in REV’s case) games in order for Redlands to have a chance for at least a share of the league title. Redlands has the tiebreaker edge on REV, but not on Yucaipa. REV plays fourth-place Miller (once) and fifth-place Fontana (twice) next week, while Yucaipa plays Miller twice. Redlands finishes its season against Eisenhower and Miller.
If Yucaipa and REV don’t lose before their head-to-head matchups, Yucaipa would need to win both games in the final week to win league. REV won the first matchup between the teams so a split in the final week would give REV the tiebreaker advantage.
On Friday, Yucaipa scored two batters into the game when Greg Espinosa doubled and Alex Morabito singled him in.
Both pitchers settled in after that. Sapp struck out seven and allowed four hits and one walk (intentional), while Landazuri gave up six hits (one after the third inning), one walk and struck out four.
Sapp was the benficiary of some good defense. Left fielder Seth Gill threw out Anthony Aguila trying to score from second on Darryl Miller’s one out single in the fifth. Shortstop Espinosa made a nice play on a grounder in the sixth and raced to the second base bag for the inning-ending fielder’s choice. In the seventh, center fielder Morabito ran down Jimmy Walker’s deep fly ball to left center, a ball that would’ve scored the tying run if it had dropped in. Morabito’s catch ended the game and may have knocked Redlands out of title contention.