The Wilcox Chargers entered Friday’s De Anza League Championship Game against the Palo Alto Vikings riding an 10-game winning streak. Wilcox already beat the Vikings twice this season by scores of 8-5 and 8-1. Unfortunately for Wilcox fans, the money hit escaped the Chargers this time around, eventually losing by an 8-2 final.
Wilcox would get two men on base with nobody out in the first, and had bases loaded with just one out in the fourth, but could not muster a single run in either inning. In the fifth inning they finally got on the board with their first run of the game as third baseman Alex Adame knocked home shortstop Paul Rosa with a two-out single. That made the score 6-1.
After giving up two more runs, the Chargers scratched home a second run to pull within 8-2 and had runners at first and second with two outs. However, a jam-shot pop up down the left field line ended up being caught on a miraculous full-extension dive by the Vikings’ left fielder. The game would end in the bottom of the seventh with two runners on and a ball caught right at the fence in right field. It was a story of missed opportunities and self-inflicted mistakes for the Chargers, including a balked in run in the fourth.
“We didn’t locate pitches, gave them bases either by steals or wild pitches, passed balls,” said Chargers Head Coach David Currie on what went wrong Friday. “They hit the ball well, they made plays and we did not. They had good situational hitting, they had good clutch hitting, we left a lot of guys on base. We did a lot of things poorly and they did a lot of things well, that’s why it was so lopsided despite having the same amount of hits.”
“We didn’t overlook them, we knew they were a good team and knew they were hot. They just put together some hits good situational hitting,” echoed Adame. “They made all of their plays, we didn’t make all of ours, that’s just how baseball works.”
Wilcox went down two runs quickly in this one as starting pitcher Nick Malvini allowed a single to the leadoff hitter and then the second batter launched a two-run homer to right field. Not being able to convert runs in the bottom of the inning after Rosa led off with a double and Devin Baddo followed with a walk hurt given how they had an opportunity to get right back even.
“Yeah we got to score there,” confirmed coach Currie about the bottom of the first. “I told the guys we probably had to score eight, which is why we didn’t put down a bunt. Adame is one of our better hitters, we need him and [Alex] Tolbert to come through there. We had to respond there.”
Obviously winning the league title would have been preferred, but the loss does set the Chargers up as the favorites to win the Division I CCS tournament of 16 teams. A win would have put the Chargers in the Open Division against a juggernaut group of eight teams including Valley Christian, ranked eighth in the state and 25th nationally by MaxPreps.com.