On Wednesday, April 26, for the first time in 15 years, the Santa Clara Bruins varsity baseball squad defeated their crosstown rival Wilcox Chargers. Starting pitcher Sam Sylvia tossed a one-hit shutout as Santa Clara knocked off the Chargers by a 3-0 final.
However, in Friday’s rematch Wilcox would bounce back with a vengeance.
Early on it looked like the Bruins might come away with the series sweep. A couple of misplays in the field from the Chargers led to a bases loaded, nobody out situation for the Bruins in the bottom of the second.
Jacob Horne led off the inning with a walk before the next two batters reached base on errors. John Kepner followed up by drawing another walk, earning an RBI in the process to open the scoring. Two batters later, Bruins leadoff man Connor Houle delivered a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 advantage.
That would be all the scoring that Santa Clara could muster though as Wilcox starting pitcher Jacob Prettol allowed very little in the way of loud contact. Despite giving up a few free passes, Prettol beautifully mixed his pitches to the tune of zero earned runs in his five and 1/3 innings.
“He was dominating out there,” chimed Wilcox Manager Matt Huth on his starting pitcher. “He was back to form. He hasn’t thrown like that since the Menlo Atherton game. He was back and dominated the game. Showed good composure only giving up two runs in the bases loaded no outs spot.”
Prettol’s work to avoid the big inning when the defense faltered behind him allowed enough time for the Chargers’ bats to wake up.
Noel Ramirez led off the top of the fourth with a scorching, opposite-field double to right center. Aiden Dean then blooped a single in shallow right to give the Chargers two guys on with nobody out. That brought up Jared Cabildo who smoked a line-drive single into right center, scoring Ramirez and sending Dean around to third.
After a Bruins pitching change, Chargers’ JC Cobral added to the rally with the fourth straight hit of the inning, barreling a line drive down the left-field line, scoring Dean and tying the game at two.
Two batters later, Ryan Hauck had runners at the corners with only one out. His ground ball to shortstop looked like it might be a double play, but Hauck just beat out the back end of the play, earning himself the eventual winning RBI.
In the following half inning, the Chargers’ defense awoke out of their own slump. Wilcox left fielder Matthew Tiendas robbed Bruins’ catcher Steven Souza of a potential double by diving full extension into left-center field. Tiendas snared it in the pocket of his glove just before it hit the ground.
After a scoreless fifth, Wilcox would carry its momentum into the sixth inning where the team put the game away. Singles from Cobral, Mitchell Gonzalez and Hauck set the table for Patrick Sanchez who smacked a hard hit ball on the ground and into left field for a two-RBI knock.
“That’s what we’re supposed to do,” chimed Cobral on an eventual 7-2 Wilcox win. “It felt a lot better to get them back at their house.”
The Chargers improve to 5-5 in league with an 11-10 overall mark. Santa Clara falls to 3-7 in league, with a 10-12 overall record.