Bakersfield ends 52-year drought with first baseball section title since 1970 | Sports

The Bakersfield High Baseball team celebrated Saturday night with a dog in front of the mound at Visalia’s Valley Strong Ballpark, so it was impossible to ignore the importance.

Working for fifty-two years, the Drillers had just put an end to a dry generation and eventually won the Central Section Championship for the diamond, for the first time since 1970.

Wyatt Caid BHS first-round right-hander threw a three-point shot throughout the game and the Drillers took advantage of some of Hanford’s mistakes to get the only game of the game and get a 1-0 win in the III. In the title game.

“He was so good, not only for our baseball team, but for Driller for the whole nation,” said sixth-year Bakersfield coach Mario Garza. “It’s been such a long drought. And divisions … it doesn’t matter. We are very happy with this opportunity and very happy to represent the school. The boys were very excited to get here and be there and have the opportunity to represent our school. ”

The Drillers (11-18-3), who have only won three games in the Southwest Yosemite League this year, caught fire at the right time, closing out the regular season with a win over Liberty First Division semifinals and winning four in a row on the road. as the 13th to win the tournament.

“It’s all about the boys believing in themselves, which pretty much sums it up,” said Drillers of Garill, who hadn’t reached the baseball final since 1998, the same year the 42-year-old coach graduated from Wasco High. . “It simply came to our notice then. Actually, it started with that last SWYL match against Liberty. They started competing in seven innings … and that was really nice. “

Bakersfield’s season will continue Tuesday at 6pm in the Burroughs-Burbank Southern California Regions.

“I’ve always believed that SWYL is one of the toughest leagues, if not the toughest in the valley, that it prepares us for what we will face in the playoffs,” said Garza, who sent five teams to the league. to the section finals, and won two titles (Stockdal won the DI). “This year, last year, any year, and that was really true this year.”

Although there weren’t many attacks, the Drillers had a lot of stars, highlighting Caid’s dominance in the mound, with the help of a strong defense that put all the plays behind him.

Caid left a single blow on the field, Gavin Guzman’s two-outing, but wasted no time when Bradyn Ornelaz Driller’s left winger threw Noah Gonzales into third base, with Elijah Gonzales tagging him to finish in fifth.

Caid needed only 76 pitches — 51 strikes — three to come out and one to walk. He also hit two hitters, both in the sixth, but managed to get out of trouble with the help of some strong plays on the field.

Sticking to a one-run lead, Caid hit his first batter in the sixth, Gabe Magallan to pit his opponent.

The Bullpups (19-13) tried to overtake him, but Caid attempted and fired in the second to force Maggall’s first inning. BHS midfielder Andrew Diaz finished second with a catch over his shoulder, and Caid hit another hitter to attract Zayvien Silvestre to end the threat.

“It’s been pretty strong,” Caid said Garza, and improved to a 4-5 result.

“It simply came to our notice then. Often we would defend ourselves or not and we would do some running. He’s been roughly the same guy all year. It’s going very well for us, we haven’t been able to protect it as well as we have. “

Bakersfield only managed four hits, two from a Johnnie Lee senior shortstop, but it came in a different way in the fourth and only got a single run of the game later.

After Wyatt Ashe flew in to open the scoring, Lee scored, but came on a third blow when he hit the ball that was running to the first. He passed the ball in the second and Nolan Arnold in the third when another shot from the third fell.

Caid continued with a successful squeeze, slipping Lee in the head to pass the shot.

“It was very important for us to keep the team below four runs to give ourselves a chance, we knew what we averaged in every game,” Garza said. “And if we played defensively, we’d be fine.”

Bakersfield had three of the first five innings to reach the starting hitter, but he threw himself at his feet with an aggressive play at the bases. Lee was chosen second after taking the lead with a blow to the field, Ornelaz was caught stealing in the third after a single lead and Arnold headed to fourth base to try a delayed steal.

It was all just a footnote for the Drillers, who beat Taft 4-3 4-3 in the 4-3 playoffs, and then Porterville-Monache won 5-5 11-5 and Kingsburg 10-4 10-4 in Saturday’s game. . tournament match.

“Here we are, at number 13, we limped into the playoffs and what a story,” Garza said. “We don’t have a fellow who is committed to big universities. We just have a bunch of guys who are working. We don’t expect them to be where we are. So that’s been my message to our boys. “Let’s go here and have fun and play baseball.”

Bakersfield ends 52-year drought with first baseball section title since 1970 | Sports Source link Bakersfield ends 52-year drought with first baseball section title since 1970 | Sports

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