By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
QUARTZ HILL >> Most teams might have folded. But Bishop Amat High School just pushed back, and now the Lancers are closing in another CIF-Southern Section baseball title.
Nicholas Valdez had the tying double and Christian Moya slugged a three-run home run in a five-run sixth inning and Bishop Amat rallied for a 5-2 victory over host Quartz Hill Friday in a Division 3 quarterfinal game.
The Lancers, getting five strong innings on the mound from Alex Garcia, improved to 19-11 and will host either Redondo in Tuesday’s semifinals.
Quartz Hill, which got a two-run double from Josh Van Dorp, finished 21-10.
instead of going quietly, the Lancers first got even, then took the lead in the sixth.
Left fielder Sergio Robles doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs. Valdez then followed with a two-run double on a line drive to center field to tie it at 2, which chased Rebels’ No. 1 pitcher Jonathan Teaney.
Moya then promptly created reliever Jake Keily with a three-run homer to center field for a 5-2 lead.
Bishop Amat’s Christian Moya: “We were bummed out (after Quartz Hill took the lead). But we just kept fighting. We put at-bats together, rallied, got (the lead) back. “I was just waiting for a good pitch to hit. It was a clutch situation, had the right mind-set going in, made sure I got a good swing at the ball and smoked it.”
Bishop Amat coach Andy Nieto: “These guys are so resilient. They’ve been through a lot. We knew they (the Amat hitters) would be surprised, we just had to make the adjustments and find a way to will our way back into the game. We’re in a good place right now. But these guys know it’s one step closer, but it’s still just one in a row. It was truly a team effort.”
CIF-SS Baseball Results
Bishop Amat 5, Quartz Hill 2
California 5, Northview 1
Torrance 1, San Dimas 0
Santa Ynez 3, Sierra Vista 2
Redondo Union at Bishop Amat, 3:15 p.m.
NORTHVIEW SEASON ENDS
By Fred J. Robledo
Visiting California did what Northview couldn’t in Friday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 4 baseball quarterfinals.
The Condors took advantage of timely hitting and reliever Jerald Johnson got big out after big out to lead the Del Rio league champions to a 5-1 victory.
California (23-5) will be at home in Tuesday’s semifinals against South Torrance, a 3-1 winner over fourth-seed Oaks Christian.
California is hoping to win its first title since 2000.
After Northview came up empty in the first inning wasting first and third with no outs, California answered with four runs in the top of the second.
Eric Sotelo, who was 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs, belted home the first run to stake the Condors to a 1-0 lead.
Jake Carmichael followed with a bases-loaded bunt, and with nobody covering first for the Vikings, Robby Blount scored and the bases were still loaded.
Jesse Perdomo doubled the lead with a single to drive in two more and just like that, the Condors were up 4-0.
“We knew we had to put some runs on the board to take some pressure off our starter, (Ruben) Pinedo,” California coach Tony Nieto said.
Sotelo singled home Blount to push the Condors lead to 5-0 in the third inning.
Northview scored its only run on back-to-back doubles.
After Nick Ybarra’s double, Alex Labor doubled him home, prompting Nieto to replace Pinedo with Johnston, who was clutch the rest of the way.
Johnston wasn’t exactly dominant, but he never gave up the big hits.
“He’s done that all year long, given up a hit here and hit there, and gets out of it,” Nieto said of Johnston. “ I have a lot of confidence in him and our defense is outstanding. He’s a ground-ball pitcher and our defense did the rest.”
Northview had two runners aboard in the fourth, sixth and seventh, but Johnston battled out of it.
In all, Northview left 11 runners on base, which made the loss tough for Vikings coach Dan Roddy to swallow.
Ybarra had three hits and freshman Jacob Amaya, who hit the dramatic walk-off homer in the eighth inning to give the Vikings a 3-2 victory over top-seed Kaiser in the second round, was 3-for-4.
“We had our opportunities, plenty of opportunities,” Roddy said. “And we hurt ourselves defensively making some crucial mistakes.
“If we come through in the clutch and play a little defense we’re moving on, but that’s the game of baseball, you need timely hitting.”