Culver’s Season Ends In Playoff Loss
The Culver City High baseball season, one of the most memorable in school history, is over.
The Centaurs lost their second round CIF playoff game, 3-0 to Paramount High Tuesday afternoon.
Last year Culver eliminated Paramount in the second playoff round.
Both of the Centaurs’ playoff games resulted in shutouts. Culver defeated Eastside of Lancaster, 1-0 in the first round.
Rick Prieto had one the better teams in his long reign as the Centaurs’ coach. Culver finished with a 20-9 record. The team’s Ocean League record was 10-0, the first time in school history a Culver baseball team went undefeated in the league.
Paramount finished third in the San Gabriel League but has now reached the third playoff round.
Culver’s Jon Kocker had 28 hits for the season, the most by any Ocean League player.
In the final regular season game, an emotionally-charged 1-0 victory over defending Ocean League champion Santa Monica, Centaur sophomore Jay Steiner pitched a complete game one-hitter.
With the game scoreless in the seventh inning on Culver’s field right fielder Pablo Saucedo caught a deep drive to cut short a Santa Monica rally.
Then in the bottom of the seventh Saucedo reached base and scored on a hit by sophomore Darian Sylvester.
“It was the greatest moment,” said Prieto.
Another great moment occurred when Juan Alcala, recently called up from the junior varsity, singled in the only run in the playoff opener against Eastside. He did that as a pinch hitter.
In the division the semi-finals and finals remain, but Culver won’t be participating and neither will any other Ocean League team
Santa Monica, the league’s second place team, was eliminated in the first playoff round by Downey, 5-1.
The other Ocean League teams in the playoffs were also eliminated in the first round. Hawthorne lost to Elsinore, 5-3 and Beverly Hills was shut out by Corona del Mar, 5-0.
The Culver City softball team, which finished second to Santa Monica in the Ocean league, is also out of the playoffs.
The Centaurs lost to Buena, 8-4.