Culver Suffers First Round Playoff Loss

Finishes Season with 19-6 Record

There was no joy in Culver City High Baseball-land last Friday afternoon. The Centaurs suffered a tough 2-0 shutout loss at home to Sunny Hills High from Fullerton in first round of the 2019 CIF Division 4 Baseball Championships. Culver City qualified for the Southern Section Playoffs with a second place finish in the Ocean League while riding a five-game winning streak.

The classic pitching duel with the Lancers turned on one inning. Though both teams threatened throughout the well-pitched contest, potential rallies were erased by great defensive plays. Sunny Hills scored both runs on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze in the top of the third inning.

In the bottom of the third inning Culver City was denied a run on a passed ball, delayed call, bang-up play at home plate. That would ultimately seal their fate as they advanced runners to second base in the next two innings but failed to cash in. The last two innings were marked by the last five batters retiring in order. The season had ended too soon was the prevailing thought in the bleachers.

Centaur right-handed freshman pitcher, Alonzo Reyes, survived a bases-loaded jam to get out of the second inning. The third inning started with the Lancers putting runners on second and third base with one out. Allen Franco laid a perfect bunt down the third base line, easily scoring the runner at third while forcing Culver third baseman Jake Glickman to throw to first base for the force out.

The Lancer runner rounding third base made a mad dash towards home plate on the throw to first base, beating the return throw home with a sliding hand across the plate. The two runs virtually changed the tone of the ballgame until the last out. Remarkably, Sunny Hills failed to get a runner on base in the last four innings.

Reyes retired the side in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Southpaw Adrian Montenegro relieved Reyes in the seventh inning and retired the side. Reyes held Sunny Hills to six hits in 23 at-bats, one walk and struck out one batter. Montenegro struck out the first two batters he faced.

Offensively, the Centaur made plenty of contact but only had three singles to show for it. Glickman had two and centerfielder Tanner Duve had one. Right fielder Justin Roulston had two walks, first baseman Jack Bickerton and Reyes each had one walk.

That was the extent of the Culver City offense as too many hit balls ended in pop-ups or fly-outs, 13 in total to be exact. Sunny Hills senior pitcher Enoch Kim went the distance, walking four, striking out three while allowing three hits.

The Centaurs finished the season with an overall record of 19-6. They finished tied in the Ocean League with Santa Monica High (7-3), behind first place El Segundo High (9-1). Lawndale High (5-5), Beverly Hills High (2-8) and Hawthorne High followed.

Montenegro tied Reyes for the team in wins this season with seven each. Montenegro had a 7-1 won-loss record in ten starts. He struck out 39 and had a 2.30 ERA. Reyes was 7-3 on the season and led the team in strikeouts with 41. He also led in innings pitched with 56.2 and had an ERA of 1.36 before Friday's game.

Offensively, the Centaurs were led by third baseman Mason Le. The senior captain batted .387, scored 22 runs, had 29 hits and 23 RBI's. Nathan Carmichael batted .333 with 13 runs scored and had 14 hits. Dylan Singh batted .327, score 16 runs and had 17 hits. Jack Bickerton averaged .299, had 20 hits and was second on the team in RBI's with 22.

Joaquin Hines batted .296, scored 13 runs, had 21 hits and 10 RBI's. He led the team with five triples and tied for the lead in doubles with five. Justin Rouston averaged .317, scored 13 runs, had 20 hits, five doubles and 11 RBI's. Tanner Duve hit .302, scored 16 runs, had 19 hits and drove in 10 runners. Reyes batted .255, scored 13 runs, had 13 hits and nine RBI's.

Malik Clayton batted .265, scored six runs and had nine hits. James Roque batted .320, had eight hits and scored three runs. Brenden Evans averaged .200, Eric Perez .188, Mason Kim .188, Jake Glickman .200, Barry Blocker .231, Logan Brand .364, Devin Hayden .375 and Nick Lopez .125.


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