It was a big day on the diamond yesterday. It was Senior Night plus the Eagles were hosting La Jolla Country Day with either a share of the league title or an outright league title on the line. Senior Ethan Paulson got the start on the mound and forced both batters to hit ground balls to him before striking out the third batter of the inning. The Eagles couldn’t get anything going in the bottom of the first inning besides Junior Bryson Hashimoto who hit a single but was left stranded.
Paulson took the mound again in the second and was able to get out of the inning only allow 1 hit and recording another strikeout on the way. Paulson led off the bottom of the second and was hit by a pitched. Senior Tyler Thornton, who was the designated hitter, hit a grounder back to the pitcher who tried to throw Ethan Paulson out at second but committed a throwing error. Thornton reached first on an error on a Fielder’s Choice. SFC found themselves with runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs but that is where they would stay for that inning.
The first batter for LJCD in the top of the 3rd inning hit another grounder back to Paulson who threw him out at first before striking out the next two batters. Through 3 innings on the mound Ethan Paulson recorded 4 strikeouts but also fielded 3 ground balls and threw all three runners out at first!
While each team had their chances at the plate they were both subject to the pitcher’s duel that was going on and were not able to get anything going. Sophomore Kian Hogan made some great catches in centerfield in the top of the 5th inning that helped keep the Torreys off the bases. Paulson recorded his 5th and final strikeout of the game before getting out of the top of 6th inning without allowing a baserunner.
The bottom of the 6th is where the Eagles finally turned it on. Junior Ian Coykendall led off the inning with a single. Hashimoto flew out. Junior Stephen Pierson was battling at the plate before hitting an RBI single into right field. Coykendall, who stole second base, scored on a close play at the plate. An overthrow to the catcher and heads up coaching and base running by first base coach Robbie Roberts allowed Pierson to take second base. Ethan Paulson stepped up with a runner on second and smashed a single to left field. Pierson was able to score off the hit and the defensive throws toward home allowed Paulson to reach second base. Senior Matt Pittman came in to pinch run for Paulson. Thornton was up next and hit a single, which advanced Pittman to third.
The Eagles, who were now up 1-0, had runners on first and third. Senior Chris Glevy came to plate and took the signs from Coach Roenicke. Glevy then laid down a perfect safety squeeze bunt down the first baseline that allowed Pittman to score. That infielders came in to field the bunt and fire to first, the only problem was there was no one covering first. Glevy was able to advance to second on the throwing error. Senior Jeff Woolson came in to pinch run for Thornton, who was now at 3rd base. Senior Cade Remy got an at bat in the inning but ultimately struck out after working a full count. Unfortunately, the Eagles left both runners on 2nd and 3rd and went out to try to hold onto their lead in the top of the 7th inning.
Ethan Paulson took the mound and allowed the first batter he faced to hit a single. Now with a runner on first he forced the next batter batter to fly out. The next batter hit a single up the middle that was gobbled up by Junior Cole Roberts who was able to get the lead runner at second base. Paulson was able to get the last batter to fly out to secure 2 hit complete game win.
Now that the Eagles beat the Torreys 3-0 they had to wait and see what happened between Bishop’s and Francis Parker. A SFC win and a Francis Parker win would result in a three way tie of the Coastal League title between La Jolla Country Day, Francis Parker and Santa Fe Christian. Bishop’s came into yesterday’s game 0-8 in league play. The Bishop’s Knights were able to shock the world yesterday and beat the Francis Parker Lancers 4-3 in 10 innings! That victory and the fact that SFC had the tie-breaker over LJCD means that your Santa Fe Christian Eagles are League Champs!by Brad Sandusky