Athletics — May 19, 2015 by Nick Linfesty
PACIFICA RETURNS TO THE PLAYOFFS

As of Wednesday, The Seawolves are in the CIF playoffs. An 8-6 win over Yeshiva clinched the team a spot as a third seed in the playoffs that start on Thursday. The team finished with a 5-5-0 record that was good enough for third in the Liberty League. The season was full of ups and downs but was a major improvement since last year.

Our season began on a sour note as we dropped two games to Providence High School. Unfortunately, we were blown out twice on the road and at home. We returned to the road with our heads hung low, but we gathered ourselves and beat New Jewish Community 14-0, but it didn’t stop there. We performed the sweep as we beat them 8-5 at home. We can attribute most of our success to breakout hitting and fielding, as well as the all-star pitching that found its way after a shaky start.

Staying hot after reaching .500, we stormed into our series against Milken as a new team. On 4/28, in our first game against Milken, we had a crummy start going down 6-2 after 2 innings. Our offense picked it up with a 4 run 3rd inning that tied the game. After the momentum tilted in our favor, the Seawolves took over and scored 11, giving us an 17-6 lead. Not much happened after that, except we scored 2 more, leaving us with a 19-6 victory. At home, not much changed, we scored 6 in the first two innings and capped our scoring with 4 in the 4th. Again we walked away with a 10-3 win. We were 4-2.

We continued on to our next game against the rivaled Buckley. We were hot and looking to end Buckley’s winning streak. The game started weak as we dropped 4 runs after 4 innings. Not much got better, in the 5th and 6th inning, Buckley piled on 5 more, as Pacifica could find no way to stop Buckley’s offense. After 7, we lost 9-0 at home. Looking to recover from that loss and put a win in our home record, we faced Yeshiva, a school most players didn’t take seriously. The first inning went well as both teams scored 3, looking like it would be a close game. It took until the 3rd inning before scoring happened and it happened for the wrong team. Yeshiva scored 8 runs, leaving the Seawolves in awe. In the bottom of the 3rd we would score 3, but not enough to fix the damages. Yeshiva would pack on 3 more runs in the top of the 4th, Pacifica scored 2 in the bottom, cutting the lead to only 6, as Yula lead 14-8 going into the 5th. Pacifica would shut down the opposition’s offense and cut the lead to 3, after Pacifica scored 3 runs in the bottom of the fifth. Looking like we could make a comeback, both pitchers threw two scoreless innings, while Pacifica fell 14-11 and returned to .500.

The whole team felt bad, knowing we should have beat Yeshiva and gotten closer to a playoff berth. Redemption would come with a rematch game two days after our upsetting loss. This game was unlike any other game we would play. The stakes were high as both teams looked to clinch a playoff berth. We knew it was important; if we lost, we would have to beat Buckley, at home, and win a coin flip to get into playoffs. If we won, we were in the playoffs. Like most games this year, momentum was on our side. We held a 4-0 lead after 2 innings. We would add more as in the 3rd and 4th, we would score 4. Although we were leading but a lot, Yula put up competition, scoring 6 in the 3rd and 4th, leaving us with the 8-6 lead. Sam Syrett’s relief pitching was the difference, as he threw THREE scoreless innings. In the end, the Pacifica Seawolves stormed to victory and clinched a playoff berth for the first time in 2 years.

Our last League game meant nothing in the standings, but meant everything to us. We knew if we could beat the bigger and better school, we could turn the tables in the playoffs. This game alone had a combined 23 hits and offense was plenty. We drop 3-2 after three close innings, but would run in 5 in the top of the 4th, we led 7-5 after 5. Sadly, Buckley would tie it up, which led to probably the longest game in Pacifica Baseball history. Innings 6-9 saw neither team score, leaving the victory to whatever team wanted it most. The scoreless streak would end, when Pacifica scored a lone run in the top of the 10th. Looking like victory was ours, Buckley scored one of its own extending the game again. Skip to the 12th. We have two outs and a runner in scoring position. The batter’s count is 2-2. Tyler Hicks throws a harmless ball, making the count 3-2. When Hicks turned his back to walk to the mound, the runner on third begins a delayed steal. Before Hicks could throw it to Willie Haller backstopping home plate, the runner slides into home giving Buckley the 9-8 lead, and win. We were shocked and disappointed, but we played gallantly and regardless, we were in the playoffs.

Since our unbelievable lose, the team has worked hard everyday at practice getting ready for the big playoff game against Desert Christian in Lancaster on Friday 5/22 at 3:15. If any supporters could come to this major game and cheer us to victory, we could be looking at a playoff run at the magnitude of the 2011 CIF playoffs.

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Nick Linfesty

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