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Arroyo Seco baseball romps to Palomino Super Regional win

MISSION HILLS – Through two games of the Palomino Super Regional Tournament, the Arroyo Seco Saints 19-and-under summer baseball team has looked, well, rather super.

On Saturday afternoon, the squad loaded with local talent pounded out 14 hits and sent eight or more batters to the plate in three of four innings in what was a 15-0 five-inning win over the visiting Pomona Titans at Alemany High.

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"This is a very offensive team," said Arroyo Seco Coach Aaron Milam, the former skipper at St. Francis, of his squad's prowess at the plate. "Thirteen years into this now, you can understand early what type of team you have.

"I've had some very defensive-minded teams where we've won a lot of close, tight games.

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This team is a very-good hitting team and we pitch well, which is exciting."

With the victory, Arroyo Seco earned advancement to the semifinals at Pasadena's Brookside Park on Monday at 7 p.m. versus a team to be decided.

Saturday's blowout followed up on a 15-0 victory for Arroyo Seco in seven innings versus the Indian Wells Youth team Friday evening. On the flip side, Pomona entered after a 7-3 win over Hart on Friday.

Perhaps Arroyo Seco leadoff batter Gabriel Chavez best underscored his team's success at the dish.

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The University of Arizona-bound second baseman batted four times through the game's first three innings and finished three for four with three doubles, five runs batted in and a run scored.

Chavez led off the game with a double and batted twice in a six-run first inning highlighted by a two-run home run from Grant Woodward over the short porch in right field.

A stunning first inning was followed by a knockout punch via a six-run second inning that included a three-run double from Chavez and a two-run single from St. Francis product Andres Kim (two RBI and two runs).

Arroyo Seco capped its scoring with three runs in the third aided by a two-run double from Frank Garriola (three RBI and two runs) and another run-scoring double by Chavez.

"I saw a lot of good pitches and we kept getting good first-pitch fastballs, which we kept swinging at," Chavez said. "We have a lot of big hitters on this team and we bat one through nine. We're a solid team."

Arroyo Seco committed only one error, while the pitching trio of St. Francis' Kevin Baker (three scoreless innings), Garriola and Glendale Community College's Cristian Montes combined for a four-hitter.

"What you learn from a game like this is to bury a team like this early," Milam said. "Anybody can win a baseball game on any given day and it just depends on how you play. We had a chance to end this in five and I'm happy we did."

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