Walnut baseball returns to title game: Walnut High School senior Jacob Garcia had a plan when he stepped into the batter’s box in the bottom of the sixth inning of the Mustangs’ CIF Southern Section Division 3 semifinal game with visiting Paso Robles.
The game was tied 2-2 with two outs. It was a plan formulated in the dugout with Mustangs head coach Paul Acosta.
“The discussion finished with (Acosta) telling me to go away with the pitch, because everything (Paso Robles pitcher Nolan Binkele) was throwing was outside,” Garcia said. “I wanted move the runner more than anything. He gave me that perfect pitch to go away with it. It was in the perfect spot.”
Garcia proceeded to hit a line drive double to right field that scored Andy Rodriguez with the eventual game-winning run as the Mustangs defeated the Bearcats 3-2 on Tuesday. Walnut (24-9) will play Righetti, who defeated Paraclete 1-0, either Friday or Saturday at UC Riverside. The CIF-SS office will release the schedule on Wednesday.
Nogales’ finals bid falls short: Tahquitz junior pitcher Jahred Butler, a Cal State Fullerton commit, had come out of the bullpen most of the season. But Titans pitching coach Jeff Prickett talked coach Ron Savage into starting Butler against Nogales in Tuesday’s CIF Southern Section Division 4 semifinal, and the rest is history.
Butler battled five innings, and Brendon Dixon closed out the final two to lead Tahquitz to a 5-3 victory and trip to Friday or Saturday’s championship at UC Riverside against Grace Brethren, a 7-1 winner over Victor Valley.
For Tahquitz (24-5), it’s the school’s first trip to the championship after reaching the semifinals four times, and losing in the semifinals last year.
St. Lucy’s suffers tough 1-0 loss: There has been a reason pitchers have been very careful throwing to Camarillo High School’s Savanna Salyer-Kovacs. When the senior finds a pitch she likes, it more than often ends up as a base hit.
It took three at-bats and nearly a dozen pitches for her to find the right pitch on Tuesday afternoon. St. Lucy’s Dakota Casper finally threw the ball inside and Salyer-Kovacs sent a 3-1 pitch over Glendora High’s left-field fence to send the Scorpions to the CIF Southern Section Division 2 final with a 1-0 victory.
Wilson softball’s Cinderella season ends: The long, improbable run through the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 softball playoffs came to an end for the Wilson Wildcats on Tuesday afternoon.
The Wildcats (17-11-2) dropped a 9-2 decision to top-seeded Sierra Canyon in a game played at Los Altos High School because of a swarm of bees at the Wildcats home field.
The Wildcats, who finished third in the Valle Vista League had to win a wild-card game then three consecutive playoff games to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since their lone CIF championship in 2000.
CIF Southern Section Playoffs
Walnut 3, Paso Robles 2
Tahquitz 5, Nogales 3
Santa Maria 10, Southlands Christian 11
Camarillo 1, St. Lucy’s 0
Sierra Canyon 9, Wilson 2