The Pleasanton Eagles made quick work of the Carrizo Springs Wildcats in the opening game of their bi-district series.
The Eagles (23-7) scored eight runs between two innings to beat Carrizo Springs (2-20) 11-1 in six innings to earn a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-3 series. It was the first playoff game for a large portion of Pleasanton’s lineup.
“[Staying calm] is something that I’ve been coaching since Monday,” Head Coach Lance Standley said. “I spend 15 minutes a day talking about that kind of stuff. We’re a one seed and, when you’re playing a four seed, sometimes you don’t get the competition that you want. So, we wanted to be perfect [today] and it’s hard to get into a rhythm when they don’t throw strikes. You can lose focus trying to get runs instead of doing the little things. All in all, I’m pretty proud of how they played.”
Sean Ramos opened the scoring for Pleasanton in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI single. He would later come around to score on two stolen bases and an error.
That opened the floodgates, as Pleasanton would go on to score two runs with two outs in the inning. The Eagles plated a total of six runs with two outs.
Pleasanton was just red-hot at the plate. They were 6-for-15 at the plate with nine RBIs with runners in scoring position. Auston Gillespie was 2-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs, including the walk-off in the sixth inning. Three of his four RBIs came with two outs.
“It says a lot,” Gillespie said. “We knew what kind of pitching we were going to get, so we focused on that. Leaving runners on base is a negative. We don’t want to do that because we need those runs. But, we just put in the work toward the pitching we knew we were going to get and thankfully we came out on top.”
Sean Ramos was the only other Eagle with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI on his ledger.
Tanner Hollis threw three innings, striking out five and only allowing one hit to pick up the win on the hill in his first playoff start. It was all he could think about while in class on Friday.
“It felt really good,” Hollis said. “I’m a sophomore and this is big time for us; this is playoffs. We’ve got a really good chance at going far this year in playoffs. Just starting on the mound was really big. Like, it was exciting for me. I was thinking about it the whole day at school.”
The series will shift to Carrizo Springs tomorrow with game 2 scheduled for 12:30 p.m. The Eagles will look to close the series with Max Sauceda starting on the mound.
Pleasanton kept their bats hot in a 16-1 win over the Wildcats in the second game of the series on Saturday to complete the sweep.
Sean Ramos and Jayce Krauskopf each posted team-highs of three RBIs. Ramos was 2-for-2 at the plate with three runs scored as well. Cole Wiechring was 1-for-4 with a pair of RBIs on the day.
Max Sauceda picked up the win in the series-clinching game, throwing three innings, allowing one run on two hits. Krauskopf, Gillespie, Matt Garcia and Roman Cuevas combined to throw two innings of shutout baseball to close the game.
Pleasanton led 11-0 after the top of the second.
The Eagles will face the Alice Coyotes (16-15) in the area round of playoffs. Game 1 will take place Friday, May 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Pleasanton. Game 2 has a scheduled first pitch of 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, in Alice with game 3 to follow 30 minutes afterwards if necessary.