Second Round Playoffs Roundup
By Andrew Smith
Bonita (5/29/2014) – Santa Fe Christian head coach DON MITCHELL has been harping since day one of the 2014 season about facing a hard schedule early would only help them when it came to Coastal League play and the C.I.F. Playoffs.
Turns out he was absolutely right…and SFC is proving the voters right that being ranked No. 5 in the San Diego county is absolutely no fluke.
Even though they lost a few games against some top-notch competition early on in the Pirate Baseball Classic and North County Tournaments, they swept through the league play unscaved and are one win away from the Division II Championship Game Saturday afternoon at 1:30 at host USD’s Fowler Park after a 3-0 blanking of Bonita Vista.
“We’re not gonna count our chickens before they hatch,” admitted Mitchell. “We know anything can happen in this sport so we’re gonna keep the pedal to the metal until the very end and keep on trucking.”
Flopping two aces in his deck every day – in COLE ACOSTA and DILLON PAULSON – is certainly a luxury that Mitchell can afford. What gets lost in the mix is that he has a third joker up his sleeve in CHASE BUSHOR and he can be the wild card at a moment’s notice.
Bushor started the scoring in the top of the first by drawing a walk and later scoring on a COLE WEAVER single. GARY SAGGESE drew a base-loaded walk for the second run on a 3-2 pitch with two outs.
Not only did Weaver provide what would end up to be the game-winning RBI, but he also scored the Eagles’ third and final run in the sixth to give Paulson a little more insurance that he would eventually never need.
“I think this was the most poised Dillon has been all year,” said his skipper after. “The umpire had a very small strike zone, but he had zero walks, hit one batter and was overall terrific.”
With graduation slated for Friday for the senior class of Santa Fe Christian the second round game eventually slated for Friday was move up a day. Barons’ head coach didn’t think that mattered in the eventual outcome, but rumor has it that SFC’s coach Mitchell put so much emphasis on this game that he made each individual player drive to the game solo – whether they were going to a late-night bonfire or not – he wanted them all to know what it felt like to be in the driver’s seat…
That’s exactly where the Eagles now find themselves in the lower bracket of the Division II playoffs. They are one win away from a championship game appearance with two and a half aces up heir sleeve.