La Quinta took an unselfish approach to its Southern Section Division III baseball game Tuesday at Saddleback.
Eight players combined for 12 hits as the Aztecs beat Saddleback, 10-1. Seven players also scored for La Quinta.
It was the 50th victory in the last two seasons for the Aztecs (25-3). La Quinta advances to play Bellflower St. John Bosco in the quarterfinals Friday.
La Quinta was 25-6 last season and lost in the section title game to Tustin.
The major benefactor was sophomore left-hander Joe Garcia. He gave up a run and three hits in six innings to improve to 7-0. He has allowed nine earned runs in 63 innings this season for an earned-run average of 1.00.
“He’s really composed,” La Quinta Coach Dave Demarest said about Garcia. "(If he’s nervous), he doesn’t show it.”
La Quinta, the Garden Grove League champion and the second-seeded team, took advantage of three Saddleback errors and three hit batters in the first three innings for a 5-0 lead.
Joe Linck had two hits and drove in two runs. He had a sacrifice fly to drive in the first of four runs in the third. Linck also had an RBI single in the fourth to put La Quinta ahead, 6-0.
Jon London had a double and a single and drove in a run, Sean Carlson had two hits and drove in a run and C.J. Livernois had two hits, including a double, and scored three runs for the Aztecs.
Jim Livernois had a hit but also walked once, was hit by a pitch another time and scored two runs.
“This is a tough team to face,” Demarest said. “It’s not one guy all the time, which can be a plus.”
Saddleback’s lone offensive highlight came from a familiar source--senior Tony Zuniga. He hit a home run, his fifth, with one out in the sixth inning.
Saddleback advanced to the second round with a 6-3 victory over Trabuco Hills, the Pacific Coast League champion, last Friday. The Roadrunners end the season 16-12.
In another Division III game:
Antelope Valley 8, Tustin 5--Chris Tapia’s RBI triple in the fourth inning scored the winning run for Antelope Valley, stopping Tustin’s eight-game winning streak. The fourth-seeded Tillers were led by Ryan Winmill, who was two for four with one RBI and two runs scored.
The Tillers lost their last chance to score when Winmill lined into a double play with runners on first and second in the seventh inning.