Although Camarillo High had a roller-coaster campaign in the Marmonte League, Alemany might have guessed that playing the Scorpions in the first round of the Southern Section 4-A playoffs would be less than a joy ride.
After a slow start last season, Camarillo advanced to the finals. The Scorpions have a lethal sting in what Coach Ken Wagner calls "the second season."
A drive by Bill Saylors over the football stands that serve as the center field fence at Camarillo gave the Scorpions a 7-4 win Friday over Alemany. The three-run home run was Saylors' fourth of the season, and it capped a five-run sixth in which Camarillo overcame a 4-2 deficit and the pitching of Alemany sophomore Brian Rosselli.
"It helps that we went as far as we did last year," Wagner said. "Even the guys on this team who didn't play much last year went through the experience."
The late Camarillo rally made a winner of Travis Willis (10-3), who survived a rocky beginning to pitch his ninth complete game of the season. Willis, a senior right-hander, allowed nine hits, but only two over the last four innings.
"The key to the game was that we had Willis on the ropes and didn't put him away," Alemany Coach Jim Ozella said.
Alemany, which was making its first trip to the playoffs since 1981, scored twice in each of the first two innings. Pat Aragon, who had three hits, figured in both rallies and Larry Muir hit an RBI double in the first.
A two-run home run by Chris Lillich, his fifth of the season, got Camarillo on the board in the third. Rosselli (7-4) shut out the Scorpions over the next two innings, but allowed two hits and a walk in the sixth.
Mike Rooney replaced Rosselli and allowed a game-tying single to Jeremy Sumrow and Saylor's home run. Sumrow had two hits after replacing injured center fielder Billy Ochs in the fourth.