Cypress got its second straight solid pitching effort on Saturday as sophomore right-hander Henry Martinez went eight innings in a 6-1 baseball win over SBCC at Pershing Park.
The 11th-seeded Chargers (29-13) completed a 2-0 series sweep of the No. 6 Vaqueros (23-18) in the first round of the Southern Cal Regional playoffs. Cypress tied for third in the tough Orange Empire Conference, which sent seven teams to the 18-team Regional. The Vaqueros won the WSC North title by two games with a 13-7 record.
Martinez allowed just one run on five hits and struck out eight. The Chargers, who were the designated home team on Saturday, took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI double by Logan Swofford and a squeeze bunt by Trevor Fonseca that scored Swofford. They made it 3-0 in the third on a two-out RBI double by Garrett Calvert (2-4, 2 RBIs).
The Vaqueros didn’t get a hit until Mitchell Sancier singled to the hole at shortstop with one out in the fifth. Zack Stockton followed an RBI double to the left-field fence. Stockton, a freshman catcher who’s ironically from Stockton, Calif., went 2-4 with an RBI.
“Their guy was good (on the mound) and they’re a good team,” said sixth-year SBCC coach Jeff Walker. “They played good defense and executed two squeeze bunts. Offense comes and goes and we ran into some good pitching the last three games.”
The Vaqueros were held to no runs on six hits in Friday’s playoff opener and one run on six hits in Game 2. Santa Barbara was shut out in two of its last three games and managed just one run in the last 29 innings.
“That’s obviously not the way we wanted to end our season,” Walker added. “There’s only one team that’s going to end the year with a win in the postseason. It’s kind of sad to see our sophomores play their last game but they have a lot to be proud of.”
Sophomore Kyle Wade (6-4), a first-team All-WSC selection, suffered the pitching loss, giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He had one strikeout and four walks.
Cypress made it 4-1 in the sixth when Paul Gomez singled and stole second, followed by a walk and a bunt single by Fonseca that loaded the bases. Wade hit Chase Sebby on an 0-2 pitch, forcing in the fourth run. The Chargers got two more in the seventh on a squeeze bunt by Calvert and an RBI single by pinch-hitter Matt Schmidt.
The Vaqueros got two runners on base in the fourth, eighth and ninth but failed to score.
“It was a good season with another conference championship and a seventh straight playoff appearance,” said Walker. “There’s a lot to look forward to with our freshman class.”