July 30, 2016
The Conejo Oaks and Santa Barbara Foresters advanced through the second round of the CCL playoffs today at the MLB Urban Youth Academy and will meet tomorrow at 10am to play for the 2016 CCL Championship. Santa Barbara beat the Oaks in the head-to-head meeting of the two playoff finalists 5-0, taking a direct route to the championship game as the unbeaten team, while the Oaks rebounded from their loss to the Foresters by beating the Neptune Beach Pearl 7-6 in the elimination game immediately following and will have to beat Santa Barbara twice tomorrow to claim the championship.
Starting pitcher Connor Mayes (Texas)
was the story in the Foresters win over the Oaks. Mayes threw seven scoreless innings, scattering four hits while striking out seven and did not give up a walk. Ryan Shetter (Texas Tech)
relieved Mayes in the eighth and finished the game just as Mayes had started it, dominantly, allowing only one runner to reach base in the final two innings to earn the save. The Santa Barbara pitchers got all the run support they would need in the second inning when Dylan Paul (Texas State)
singled, stole second base and scored on a RBI-single by Bryan Bussey (Florida St)
. Insurance runs would follow though as Bret Boswell (Texas)
, who had a great game at the plate going four-for-five, doubled home a run in the third inning, Lex Kaplan (Tulane)
hit a solo home run in the sixth, Boswell hit a run-scoring single and Hunter Williams (Tulane)
added a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Chad Spanberger (Arkansas) and Kyle Sanchez (Cal)
each had two hits to lead the Oaks offense, while Conejo's starting pitcher Isaiah Campbell (Arkansas)
had eight strikeouts in his seven innings of work but allowed all of the five Santa Barbara runs and suffered the loss. See the boxscore/recap of this game here.
The Oaks rebounded from their loss to Santa Barbara by scoring four runs in their first at bat against Neptune Beach in the elimination game. Leadoff hitter Jake Arledge (Arkansas)
started things off with a double, advanced to third on a single by Sanchez and scored when a groundball by Spanberger was mishandled by the Neptune Beach shortstop. Chad Bible (San Diego St)
then plated both Sanchez and Spanberger with a double and, after advancing to third on the play by way of another Pearl error, scored on a sacrifice fly by Codi Santana (Hawaii Pacific)
. The four-run Conejo lead was almost totally erased in Neptune Beach's first at bat, however, as Walker Pennington (Texas A&M)
drove in Clayton Andrews (Cabrillo JC)
, who had walked, with a single; Baylor Rowlett (Oklahoma St)
drove in Tristan Hildebrandt (Cal St Fullerton)
, who had doubled, home from third with a groundout, and Nick Allman (Santa Barbara CC)
later drove in Rowlett with an RBI-single to cut the Oaks lead to 4-3. The Pearl scored twice more in the second inning when Andrews, who had a perfect four-for-four game at the plate, hit one of his two triples to drive in one of the runs and Pennington scored Andrews with a productive groundout. The Oaks came right back to reclaim the lead for good in the third inning when Cody Farhat (Texas Tech)
hit a mammoth three-run home run over the left-center wall to give Conejo a 7-5 lead. The Pearl got to within one run of tying the game in the sixth inning when Andrews scored on Rowlett single, but they squandered multiple scoring chances, including twice not taking the opportunity to score from third when the Oaks defense was not making a play to stop them and another time running into an out while trying to score on a passed ball with one out. While the starting pitching for both teams was mostly ineffective, the Oaks final two relievers Jake Sylvester (Northridge) and Robby Medel (Arizona)
were up to the pressure-packed challenge of the last three innings by striking out two batters each and holding the Pearl scoreless. See the boxscore/recap of this game here.
In today's first elimination game, played at 10am just prior to the Oaks-Foresters matchup of unbeaten teams, the Pearl and the Academy Barons, both of whom had lost their first-round games yesterday, faced off against each other to see who would advance. Barons starting pitcher Kyle Murray
had a strong outing, striking out six over six innings and, after the Barons offense scored three times in the fifth inning on a solo home run by Adonis Morrison
, an RBI-single by Keyon Allen (UNLV)
and a run-scoring groundout by Jonah Dean-Hargroves (Jackson St)
, Murray left the game after allowing only one run, an Andrews RBI-single in the sixth inning, with the Barons leading 3-1. The Barons scored twice more in the top of the seventh when Zack Kolakowski (Illinois)
led off with a triple and then scored on Allen's second RBI-single, and Dean-Hargroves again drove in Allen, this time with a single, to give the Barons what seemed to be a comfortable 5-1 lead. But, immediately after Murray was lifted from the game, the Pearl took advantage of three walks and a hit batsman issued by two Academy relievers and errors by two Academy fielders to score five runs on only two hits, one by Andrew Bryniarski (Regis)
and one by Pennington, and a sacrifice fly by Andrews. The Neptune Beach relievers fared much better. Theron Kay (Baylor)
, who entered the game in the middle of the seventh after the Barons scored twice in the inning, got the final two outs in the seventh and three more via the strikeout in the eighth without allowing a hitter on base, and Blake Peters (UC Davis)
got three groundouts in the ninth to earn the save and give Neptune Beach one more game on the season. See the boxscore/recap of this game here.
The 2016 CCL Playoff format and schedule can be viewed here.