Spartans move on to semifinals with another 12-1 win

De La Salle advanced to the NCS semifinals on Saturday afternoon, with a 12-1 win over host Clayton Valley Charter that ended after five innings. The Spartans (19-8) surged to victory on the strength of a merciless nine-run outburst in the top of the third inning, which saw them tally a total of just four hits. "Our offense had a game plan and we executed," said Jeans. "We lift a lot all year and we try to out-physical guys, and we did a good job of doing that today." De La Salle's impressive patience at the plate payed dividends, as the monstrous rally included two walks and two hit batters, in addition to a pair of fielding errors. "We didn't want to chase balls," said De La Salle manager David Jeans. "Clayton Valley does a good job of keeping the ball down and they like to get early outs, so we tried to outlast them a little and get some balls up in the air." After back-to-back errors and a hit batter to start the inning, De La Salle jumped in front 2-1 when center fielder Ryan Cole was hit by a pitch. The Spartans added another run when the next hitter, Gabe Giosso, reached on a walk. After a pitching change, Gio Mijares kept the line moving by drilling a line drive single to center field, making it 4-1. First baseman Trace Tammaro legged out a potential double play grounder to drive in another run. After Michael Curran walked to load the bases again, Austin Elder unloaded on a bases-clearing double to left-center to make it 8-1. Michael Quinn followed that up with an RBI double to the gap in right-center. With two outs in the inning, the Spartans concluded the scoring when Nick Santiago executed the squeeze play and reached safely on the bunt down the third base line, making it 10-1. The Spartans showed off their power in the top of the fifth inning, when Khalid Johnson and Santiago crushed back-to-back solo home runs down the line in left. Both balls landed in almost the exact same spot beyond the outfield wall. "I think it's just keeping the same approach, and then when we see a pitch we need to turn on it and be violent to the baseball," said Jeans. Each side recorded a run in the run in the opening inning on sacrifice flies. The Spartans drew first blood when Cole lofted a ball to right field just three batters into the game. Second baseman Kevin Snyder's fly ball to center evened the score at 1-1 for the Ugly Eagles (23-3). After laboring through a lengthy bottom of the first inning, De La Salle starting pitcher Mason LeGate settled down and gave his team four innings of one-run ball, surrendering four hits and striking out two. "I thought Mason did a great job and came in to beat a pretty good team," said Jeans. De La Salle will move on to play nine seed College Park in the NCS semifinals next week. The Falcons upset top-seeded San Ramon Valley in the quarterfinals.

by Brendan Ogburn - Prep2Prep