May 20, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Pacifica Christian records walk-off victory and advances to CIF finals for first time

Pacifica Christian’s players and coaches meet after Tuesday’s win. (Photo: Alex Suarez, For OC Sports Zone).

By ALEX SUAREZ

For OC Sports Zone

Pacifica Christian High School’s baseball team is heading to the CIF Division 8 Finals Saturday at 10 a.m. vs. Azusa at Lake Elsinore Stadium. 

The top-seeded Tritons (22-6) walked off with a 4-3 victory over San Bernardino Tuesday in the semifinals at Orange Coast College, earning their first appearance in the finals in school history. Scout Escobedo drove in Blake Hayes on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the seventh on a single with two outs to secure the win for the Tritons. 

“It feels great,” Escobedo said. “At the start of the season we said we were going to the finals and just for us to actually be going it feels amazing.” 

Hayes finished the game going 4 for 4 with three doubles, a triple and two runs scored. He opened up the scoring in the third inning, driving in Keegan DeMots with an RBI triple. Johnny Coopman later brought him in with an RBI triple himself. 

“It’s going to be tough, a good team that has made it through exactly what we have gone through,” Hayes said. “It’s gonna be a tough one but if we stay as a team like we did today, we’ll be able to pull it off this weekend. 

Jon Stone pitched seven strong innings for the Tritons, striking out eight batters and allowing two earned runs. 

San Bernardino (15-5) tied the game at three in the sixth inning with a bases-clearing triple by Antonio Quintero. 

“Give credit to those guys over there; they played a great game,” Pacifica Christian Coach Chris Gomez said. “We were cruising there until they had that big inning and it became anyone’s game. I knew if we got Hayes on even with two outs, I liked our chances.” 

Pacifica Christian will now prepare to face Azusa (17-5) in the finals.

“This is our third year of existence as a baseball team” Gomez said. “Even to get this far is amazing. It’s really, really exciting, but we know we have a job to do so we’re just going to continue to work like we have all season.”