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Hawks in top eight of D-I playoffs
•CV baseball upsets Elk Grove 3-2 in opening round
CV baseball team pic 2022
Central Valley’s baseball team posted a 14-14 overall record finished fourth in the Central California Conference standings and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I playoffs this season.

Central Valley’s baseball team made some noise in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I playoffs.

Seeded 14th, the Hawks compiled a 1-1 record en route to a top-eight finish.

Central Valley stunned third-seeded/Sac-Joaquin Section powerhouse Elk Grove 3-2 in the opening round on May 10.

“We didn’t realize how big of an upset it was until after the game,” Hawks’ senior standout Gabrial Lopez said.

Added Central Valley head coach Derrick Goblirsch: “Winning a game like that is super special. It’s something the guys are going to remember forever.”

Lopez (7-5) was the winning pitcher.

He allowed two runs and six hits with two strikeouts and three walks over five innings.

“They don’t strike out a lot,” Lopez said. “I switched my focus to just get outs. I stayed low in the zone. I threw a lot of changeups.”

“He executed the game plan perfectly,” Goblirsch stated. “He was throwing all of his pitches for strikes. That was the key to his success.”

Freshman southpaw Chris Garcia picked up the save in relief.

Garcia gave up no runs and one hit with three strikeouts and three walks in two innings.

“I don’t know how many freshmen could go against a team like Elk Grove and shut them out,” Lopez said. “He gutted it out. He got the job done.”

“Everyone was asking about our thought process about putting a freshman in with a 3-2 lead,” Goblirsch said. “It just made sense. He’s our next best guy.”

Hawk Samuel Wilson batted 2-for-3 from the plate with one RBI and one run.

Miguel Espinoza batted 1-for-3 with one RBI.

Roman Aguinaga batted 1-for-4 with one run.

Garret Garcia batted 1-for-3 with one run.

Andre Flores scored once.

Lopez singled.

Down 2-1, Central Valley tallied two runs in the top of the sixth inning to secure the victory.

Wilson singled, moved to second on Garret Garcia’s hit and scored on Espinoza’s two-out single.

Flores, who pinch-ran for Garcia, broke a 2-2 tie when he scored from third base on a first-and-third trap play. Espinoza left first base early on purpose, prompting Elk Grove pitcher Andrew Hutcheson to step off the rubber. Hutcheson looked at Flores at third before attempting to throw out Espinoza at second. The ball sailed into centerfield and Flores raced home.

“We’ve been in close games all year,” Lopez said. “That experience helped us. They made a mistake and we capitalized. We put pressure on them.”

Central Valley pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Sac-Joaquin Section playoff history.

“Nobody on our team saw it as a non-winnable game,” Lopez said. “We knew they were beatable. We weren’t intimidated. We were motivated. We’re fighters.”

Central Valley lost 11-3 to sixth-seeded Oak Ridge in the quarterfinals on May 12.

“They had a good team,” Lopez said.

Chris Garcia (5-5) started at pitcher.

He surrendered three earned runs and five hits with two strikeouts and one walk in four innings.

Chris Garcia batted 1-for-3 from the plate with two RBIs.

Ryan Estermann batted 2-for-3 with one run.

Garret Garcia and Andre Flores both scored once.

Espinoza singled twice.

Lopez and Wilson both singled.

Tied at 2-2, Oak Ridge broke the game open by scoring nine runs in the top of the fifth.

“It came down to one bad inning,” Lopez said.

Central Valley compiled a 14-14 overall record and finished fourth overall in the Central California Conference standings (6-6) this spring.

The Hawks also made program history by securing just their second playoff berth. Central Valley returned to the postseason following an eight-year absence.

“None of us are hanging our heads,” Lopez said. “We’re proud of what we accomplished.”

Eagles 7, Dawgs 1

Ceres High’s baseball team returned to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs this spring following a two-year absence.

The 14th-seeded Bulldogs lost 7-1 to the third-seeded Vista del Lago Eagles in the opening round of the Division-III bracket on May 10.

“Obviously, going to the playoffs is a good feeling,” said Ceres High junior Landyn Hudson, who logged five-plus innings at pitcher. “We got to extend our season. But we wanted to make a deep run and didn’t do that. Our goal wasn’t to go one and done.”

The Bulldogs posted a 13-16 overall record, finished third in the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 9-5 mark and placed third at the Art McRae Tournament.

Ceres High managed to secure a playoff berth despite dropping its first nine games.

Vista del Lago compiled a 23-7 record and placed third in the Capital Athletic League (12-3).

The Eagles closed out the 2022 season with a 10-1 loss to the sixth-seeded Buhach Colony Thunder in the quarterfinals on May 12.

“Things started really clicking once we started playing baseball as a team,” Hudson said. “It was a great turnaround.”

Upset-minded Ceres High battled Vista del Lago early in the game.

Tied at 1-1, the Bulldogs surrendered two runs in the bottom of the second inning, three in the fourth, and one in the fifth.

“We couldn’t get our offense going,” Hudson said. “They had a great arm on the mound.”

Ceres High collected just two hits versus Vista del Lago.

Vista del Lago had six hits.

The Bulldogs led 1-0 heading into the bottom of the first inning.

Josh Prestridge singled, stole second, moved to third on a grounder and scored on a fielder’s choice.

The Bulldogs will lose a handful of key players to graduation, including Noel Anaya, Isac Cordova, Daniel Gonzalez, Xavier Pompa and Nick Villalobos.

Anaya, Cordova, Pompa and Villalobos were major contributors.

Hudson, Vincent Castrejon, Jorge Gonzalez, Adrian Ontiveros, Josh Prestridge, Reis Smith and Zion Wesir could return to the team next spring.

“I expect our program to do well,” Hudson said. “We got a good core of guys coming back.”

May 2022 CHS baseball
Ceres High’s baseball team took third in the WAC and qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs.