The scout for Ocean View High’s baseball team did not get a chance to watch Notre Dame play last week. Car problems prevented him from making it to the Knights’ victory in the first round of the Southern Section 4-A playoffs.
So all Ocean View Coach Bill Gibbons knew about Notre Dame was what he read in the newspapers.
“They said (starting pitcher John) Bonilla was 14-1 on the season,” Gibbons said. “I thought, ‘Gosh, we’re facing a monster.’ ”
Bonilla actually entered Tuesday’s second-round game 4-0. He left it 4-1 after the Seahawks posted a 4-1 victory at Notre Dame and moved into Friday’s quarterfinal against top-ranked Mater Dei.
Ocean View didn’t pound Bonilla. The Seahawks (20-7) collected six hits, but three came in the third inning when they scored three times.
After Kelly Stoval walked to lead off the third, Tim Tembreull struck out. Blaine DeBrouwer then collected an infield single.
A ground out moved the runners to second and third, and a Bonilla wild pitch allowed Stoval to score the game’s first run.
David Tinkle doubled just inside the left-field line to make it 2-0. Tinkle then came home on a solid single up the middle by Phil Chess.
Notre Dame’s hitters, meanwhile, endured a frustrating afternoon against Ocean View pitcher Craig Anderson. The Knights, who finished the season 16-6, hit the ball well but could only generate one run.
“He kept us off-balance,” Notre Dame Coach John Barrett said. “We hit the ball hard but couldn’t find any holes.”
Ocean View put runners at first and third with one out in the fourth when Barrett replaced Bonilla with Mike Peterson. The freshman promptly induced DeBrouwer to hit into an inning-ending double play.
The Seahawks got their fourth run in the fifth. John Savidan led off with a walk, and Tinkle followed with a double off the fence in left-center field to put Savidan at third.
Notre Dame’s Eric Persson came in and gave up a sacrifice fly to Chess. Persson was perfect after that, not allowing a hit or a walk in three innings.
Barrett said he had no second thoughts about not starting Persson, who two-hit Thousand Oaks in a 4-0 victory last Friday.
“I was talking to Eric before the game and he said he had two innings in him,” Barrett said. “He’s got a long career ahead of him and I don’t want to ruin it with one game.”
Anderson, by contrast, had plenty of innings to use. The right-hander had not pitched in two weeks but was in no way rusty.
“The fastball has been my pitch all year,” he said, “but today I used more curve balls to keep them off-balance. In the playoffs, you face a lot of good hitters, and they are expecting the fastball.”
Anderson gave up just seven hits and did not walk a batter until one out in the seventh. Brett Johnson replaced him at that point and got Nate Milone to hit into a double play to end the game.