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Bruins Struggle in Loss to Spartans, Miss CCS Playoffs

Saturday’s high school baseball matchup between the host Mountain View Spartans and visiting Santa Clara Bruins was the postseason opener for both teams. A qualifying game for CCS had the winner advancing, with the loser being left hoping the points system would still earn them an at-large bid for a spot in the CCS playoff bracket.

While the score remained tight for the first couple of innings, the upper-division Spartans eventually took control of the scoreboard and their own destiny in the third inning. Mountain View increased its slim 2-1 advantage going into the bottom of the third by dropping a three spot to effectively put the game away.

The Spartans would go on to cruise to a 9-2 victory and cement its spot in CCS. The Bruins found out on Monday night that the team did not earn an at-large bid.


“We had a lot going on against us,” chimed Bruins Head Coach Pedro Martinez after the game. “I had two main starters sick, another rolled his ankle playing pickup basketball and another suffered a hamstring injury during the game. Baseball gods weren’t on our side for sure.”

Despite the team’s misfortunes, the Bruins looked strong out of the gate against the higher-ranked opponents. Starting pitcher Drew Diffenderfer pitched beautifully at the start and only allowed a run in the first inning due to an unlucky infield hit that was just hit too weakly for anyone to get to it in time. A run came across on the play to open the scoring at 1-0.

Diffenderfer’s second inning was similarly impressive, only a single unearned run came across to score.

Down just a couple of runs, the Bruins bats got working in the top of the third. Leadoff man Jaxton Chao led things off with a hard smashed single just inside the third base line. An errant pickoff throw at first allowed Chao to move up into scoring position.

Two batters later, Andrew Traffas would drive home Chao with a solid single to right center and the momentum was right back in the Bruins dugout, cutting the deficit to 2-1.

Unfortunately for Santa Clara and the fans, the Bruins simply could not stop Mountain View’s leadoff man. The Spartans speedster reached base to lead off the bottom of the third and immediately stole second and third, just as he had done in the first inning.

Four stolen bases after just two plate appearances. The “speed kills” cliche wasn’t much of a cliche in this one for the Bruins as the running game really hurt the Bruins in this one.

While Santa Clara may not have played its cleanest game of fundamental baseball, coach Martinez was still incredibly proud of the effort his team delivered all season to put itself in a position with a chance to qualify for CCS.

“I’m proud of this group for finishing 15-10 after starting out 1-3 and 4-6. We finished second in league and truly the only loss was to Milpitas who was the league champion,” noted the Bruins skipper. “My five seniors battled all season, the ups and downs. Jacob Horne will be up for league MVP and I couldn’t be more proud of that kid.”


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