Santa Clara Westside’s winning ways continued with a win over rival Briarwood on Monday. Eric Honer, Jarren Advincula and Kailan Chao all hit home runs for Westside, who cruised to a 12-1, 10-run-rule victory in five innings. Honer hammered his homer into left-center field in the top of the second to open the scoring. Advincula and Chao would add their big flies with the game already well in hand. That said, Chao’s round tripper was essentially a walk-off homer as it ended the game by putting Westside up by 11 runs in the bottom of the fifth.
“The kids played great. They work hard during practice and the results don’t really shock me,” commented Westside Head Coach Jeremy Advincula on the win. “They do what they’re asked. I’m really proud of the product. You can’t really control wins or losses, but I always tell the kids they can control their effort and attitude. If you control those two, the wins tend to take care of themselves.”
Westside starting pitcher Jayce Dobie bounced back from a rough start last week with an excellent performance. The young righty didn’t allow a single run in two innings of work, throwing just 28 pitches to get the job done. Unfortunately, he came out of the game after tweaking his right hamstring in the top of the third. According to the coaching staff, he may be sidelined for the next week to 10 days.
“He had a rough start his first game, but he did a much better job commanding his pitches today,” noted coach Advincula on Dobie. “We made some pretty good defensive plays behind him too. When you make pitches and play good defense, you’re not gonna give up many runs. [Dobie] definitely did a good job commanding the zone.”
While the game may have appeared well in hand by the time Jarren Advincula and Chao added their home runs, Westside certainly knew they shouldn’t be satisfied with any lead. Briarwood has proven time and time again they can put runs up in quick fashion. Of Westside’s three home runs, Advincula’s might have been the most impressive. The speedy leadoff hitter sweet spotted a high arcing drive over the opposite-field fence.
“I think it was a 1-1 count,” recalled Advincula on his home run to left center. “I was a little out in front and thought I popped it up, but then it kept going and going.”
All of the Westside runs were valuable insurance. Briarwood’s bats could have woken up at any point. Unfortunately for Briarwood fans, their squad didn’t make much in the way of offensive noise. Dobie, Ryan Prettol and Jordan Montez were all terrific on the mound for Westside. A couple of the bright spots for Briarwood were Ozzy Cadena and Sean Rescate. The former picked up Briarwood’s lone RBI and the latter smoked a double into right-center field, the loudest contact of the day for Briarwood.
“I just wanted to see the speed at first, he threw a curveball so I laid off that one. The next pitch he threw a fastball and I decided to take it to right field,” recalled Rescate on his double. “Fortunately, I was able to split the gap.”
While it wasn’t the outcome they were looking for, Briarwood Head Coach Emmit Palacios admitted he was pleased with his player’s comments after the game.
“We talked to them after the game and asked them if they had anything to say. One thing I love about these kids is they own up. A couple of the pitchers said ‘you know I missed locations, I threw a couple wild pitches and made some mistakes.’ Of course when you make mistakes a good team will make you pay for them and Westside definitely capitalized when we did. But my players owned up to it. Which is good because that gives us an idea what we have to work on and get better at.”
Both Westside and Briarwood next play Wednesday. There is a chance they could face each other again come Thursday or in the championship round on Friday.