Andy Nieto left Bishop Amat for Damien to build up a program that couldn't win the big games, and he's already had an impact.
Damien came back from a five-run deficit to defeat Palomares League champion Glendora, 8-7, on Friday in an opening game of the Southern Section Division 2 playoffs.
Grant Woodward had two hits and three RBIs. Jon Olsen and Andrew Garcia each had three hits.
Damien (12-14) lost both of its top pitchers to injuries, started the year 3-11 and didn't make the playoffs until the final day of the regular season.
"I'm proud of these guys," Nieto said. "What these guys did the last six weeks was amazing."
No. 1-seeded San Clemente defeated Bellflower, 12-2. Lucas Herbert went four for four with three doubles and five RBIs. Two other Sea View League teams also won. Mission Viejo defeated Yucaipa, 6-4. Patrick Sandoval struck out six in a complete game. Trabuco Hills defeated Camarillo, 2-1, in nine innings.
UCLA-bound Brian Gadsby threw a two-hitter in Crescenta Valley's 4-0 win over Ventura. He struck out six and walked none. Burroughs defeated Paramount, 3-2. Thomas Wilson threw a complete game. Roy Hirota had two hits and two RBI.
Kurt Johnson struck out 13 in Royal's 2-0, eight-inning win over Glenn. Brandon Soporito hit a two-run home run in the eighth. Chris Corral threw the shutout in Gahr's 4-0 win over Pacifica.
Etiwanda defeated Warren, 2-1. Tyler Freeman had a home run. Chino Hills defeated Redlands East Valley, 7-1. Christopher Ceballos had a home run and double. Bailey Falter struck out 11.
Moorpark defeated La Mirada, 3-2, in eight innings. Max Friz had the walk-off hit. He and Greg Dominguez finished with two hits each.
Buckley defeated Vasquez, 9-0.