July 26, 2016
Thousand Oaks, CA
The Conejo Oaks took one step closer to clinching the wildcard berth in the CCL playoffs Friday by beating the Southern California Catch 19-4 today at Sparky Anderson Field. Leading the wildcard race by a mere 17 percentage points over the Healdsburg Prune Packer and the Menlo Park Legends today's contest was a must win game. And, with as many as five playoff games in three days looming this weekend should the Oaks qualify, the onus was on the hitters to jump out to a big lead so the Conejo pitching staff could be as fresh as possible for the playoffs. And jump out early they did. The Oaks scored nine runs in the first three innings in today's game and starting pitcher Cody Thompson (San Diego St)
was able to be pulled from the game after only four innings which would allow him to easily return to the mound this weekend during the playoffs should the Oaks call on him. After Thompson stranded two Catch runners on base without allowing a run in the top of the first inning the Oaks hitters had their chance to take command of the game. The first three hitters in the Oaks lineup singled and scored and Conejo had a lead they would not relinquish. In all, the Oaks hitters recorded 19 hits in the game, including seven doubles and a triple. Chad Spanberger (Arkansas)
drove in a game-high four RBI on two doubles and a single, Kyle Sanchez (Cal)
had a game-high five hits, including a double and three RBI, Jake Arledge (Arkansas)
scored five runs and had three hits, Max Weinstein (Cal Lutheran)
had three hits and two RBI, and Cody Farhat (Texas Tech)
had two doubles and two RBI to lead the Oaks. The Catch, who were eliminated from wildcard contention Sunday, were led by the two-hit performances of Caleb Potter (West Virginia), Evan Sandmann (Dallas Bapist) and Nate Pecota (William Jewell)
. With the win, Conejo's record in league play is 20-15 with one game remaining in the regular season, tomorrow at 6pm in San Luis Obispo. A Conejo win tomorrow or a loss by Healdsburg--who eliminated Menlo Park today with a 11-3 win--tomorrow at Neptune Beach clinches the wildcard berth for the Oaks. The Catch conclude their season tomorrow at home versus Long Beach and with the loss today their record stands at 16-19. See the boxscore/recap of today's game here.
Also in the CCL today
Palo Alto, CA
The Healdsburg Prune Packers scored four runs in their first at bat in a must-win game against the Menlo Park Legends today at Baylands Park and, by scoring seven runs in their last five innings, won going away 11-3. The win kept Healdsburg's playoff hopes alive and dashed Menlo Park's. Both teams trail the Conejo Oaks in the wildcard race for the last berth to the CCL playoffs which start Friday at the MLB Urban Youth Academy and they both needed to win today and hope the Oaks would lose either today or tomorrow to have a chance at reaching the playoffs. Conejo, however, won big today at home, beating the Southern California Catch 19-4, so the loser of today's matchup in Palo Alto would be eliminated from playoff contention. The Packers didn't waste any time taking command of the game. The first five hitters they sent up reached base safely on four singles and a walk. The big hit was a two-out two-run double by Alex Larivee (Youngstown)
that put the score at 4-0 before Menlo Park had a chance to hit. The Legends did score twice in their half of the first inning as Demsey Grover (UC Santa Barbara)
doubled and later scored, Clayton Casey (Houston)
drove in a run on a sacrifice fly, and Nick Brooks (Gonzaga)
hit an RBI double, and they scored a run in the second on an RBI-single by Grover to get the score close at 4-3. But after both teams traded two scoreless at bats, Healdsburg scored twice in the fifth, once in the sixth and twice more in the seventh and ninth innings to win going away. Leadoff hitter Billy Wilson (Loyola Marymount)
had a game-high four hits, including a triple, Jamey Smart (Loyola Marymount)
had three hits, including a solo home run in the seventh inning, and Elias Orona (Northridge), Kenny Corey (UC Santa Barbara)
and Larivee each had two hits and two RBI to lead Healdsburg. Grover finished with three hits to lead Menlo Park. With the win, Healdsburg now sits at 14-11 in league play with one game at Neptune Beach tomorrow remaining. The Packers need to win tomorrow and have Conejo lose in San Luis Obispo tomorrow to qualify as the wildcard team for the playoffs. With the loss, Menlo Park falls to 12-12. See the boxscore/recap of today's game here.
Parker Joe Robinson (Texas)
had seven strikeouts over five scoreless innings, Austin Boyles (TCU)
had three over two scoreless innings, and Sean Wymer (TCU)
had four in the final two as the Orange County Riptide pitchers led the way to a 5-3 victory over the Academy Barons today at Concordia University. Dillon Kelley (Chico St)
hit his fifth home run of the summer, a two-run shot in the fifth inning, Tommy Bell (Cal Baptist)
singled twice and scored twice, and Andrew Carillo (Chico St)
had two hits and an RBI to lead the Orange County offense. The Barons, who scored all three of their runs in the ninth inning, were led offensively by Keyon Allen's (UNLV)
three hits. Both teams conclude their regular season tomorrow with a doubleheader at the MLB Urban Youth Academy. The Barons, with a league-best record of 23-10, is the number one seed in the playoffs beginning Friday at the Academy. The Riptide, with the win today, have a record of 16-18 but will miss the playoffs. See the boxscore/recap of today's game here.
San Luis Obispo, CA
The San Luis Obispo Blues needed a win today and a series of unlikely events to take place elsewhere in the CCL to keep their hopes alive of making the playoffs Friday as the wildcard team. Starting pitcher Korey Anderson (Western Carolina)
and left fielder Holden Morris (Penn)
had stellar games in leading the Blues to a 7-1 win over the Ventura Halos today at Sinsheimer Park but, in Thousand Oaks, the Conejo Oaks won big in their game, 19-4 over the Southern California Catch, and the series of unlikely events that the Blues needed to avoid elimination from the playoffs was cut short to just one sobering event. The win by Conejo, who now have a record of 20-15 and will visit the Blues tomorrow in the regular season finale for both teams, dashed any hopes that the Blues, 16-14, could overtake the Oaks with a win tomorrow and qualify as the wildcard team by having a better winning percentage. And, with all these ramifications far from resolved by game time today, Anderson and Morris made sure the Blues did their part. Anderson recorded nine strikeouts and allowed only two hits over seven innings of work while Morris drove in five runs on three hits, including a bases-loaded triple in the sixth inning, and scored the other two Blues runs to lead San Luis Obispo to the victory. Connor Newell (George Fox)
added two hits and Luke Eigsti (Alabama Birmingham)
scored twice to also post solid games for the Blues. Ventura got a good performance from Derek Rodigo (Westmont)
who had two of the only three Halo hits in the game. See the boxscore/recap of today's game here.
The 2016 CCL Playoff format and schedule can be viewed here.