Camarillo scored five runs in the sixth inning on its way to a 9-3 victory Friday at Jackie Robinson Stadium, eliminating Pomona (19-3-1) from the Area 6 American Legion baseball tournament.
Camarillo (22-7), which had 15 hits, got an effective pitching performance from John Gonzalez and is one victory away from the championship round on Sunday.
Camarillo will play Valley Chatsworth today at 2 p.m.
“We’ve been hitting the ball hard,” Coach Mike Valdez of Camarillo said. “Early in the game, we didn’t get the breaks. But, hey, we got the hits when we needed them.”
Garrett Valencia and Andy Alstot started the sixth inning for Camarillo with singles. Spenser Wyman flied out to left and pitcher Augustine Lua of Pomona was a ground ball away from ending the threat.
But Kevin Brown, who added a two-run single later, tripled down the left-field line to drive in two runs.
Lua struck out Dustin Adams for the second out in the sixth, but then he unraveled. Justin Collins hit a run-scoring double and scored on a single by Mark Hensley, who went to second on the throw home. Shane Miranda singled home Hensley for Camarillo’s sixth hit of the inning and fifth run. Eric Foster’s groundout to shortstop ended the rally.
“That gave me a lot of confidence,” Gonzalez said of the rally. “To know we can score the runs off them. It was a great team effort today.”
Foster, Camarillo’s cleanup hitter, had three hits. Valencia, Nick Barroso, Brown and Adams each had two hits.
Gonzalez was effective, scattering 10 hits, allowing two earned runs and striking out 10, including the side in the fourth inning.
“I felt pretty good,” Gonzalez said. “I haven’t thrown that many innings before. Striking out the side really got me going.”
With a 9-3 lead, Gonzalez was able to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning. After Collins made a diving catch in center field for the first out--a snag worthy of a highlight reel--Gonzalez gave up two singles and walked a batter.
But he struck out catcher Chris Coronado and got Erick Lozano to fly out to center.
If Camarillo loses its 2 p.m. game today, it will play again at 6 p.m. Valdez said he has three rested pitchers he can use to finish the tournament--Alstot, Valencia and Ernie Borjas.
In other Area 6 playoff games:
Ojai-Santa Paula 12, Damien 0--John Hill hit for the cycle and drove in five runs for Ojai-Santa Paula (26-6-1).
Ronnie Herrera added two doubles and one RBI.
Valley Chatsworth 15, Westside 4--Jason Spector and Chad Redfern hit three-run home runs to help Valley Chatsworth in a seven-inning game called because of the 10-run rule.
Spector also doubled, walked and scored three runs. Matt Fisher contributed three hits, including a double.
Ryan Robbins pitched seven innings for Valley Chatsworth (30-3), allowing 13 hits while striking out three with no walks.
"[Robbins] didn’t have his best stuff,” said Coach Matt LaCour of Valley Chatsworth. “But he minimized the damage when they got on [base].”
In the District 16 17-and-under playoffs:
Camarillo 13, Westlake 6--Mark Cardella had two hits and four RBIs, and Geoff Buchanan hit a home run to help host Camarillo win the three-game series, two games to one, and advance to the district championship game Sunday at Thousand Oaks.
Both Camarillo and Thousand Oaks have qualified for the Area 6 tournament.
Mike Nickeas had four hits, including a two-run home run, and three RBIs for Westlake (17-10).
Camarillo (16-10) scored four runs in the fourth inning and five runs in the sixth to take a 13-4 lead.
Staff writer Darin Esper contributed to this report.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
Area 6 Legion Playoffs
at Jackie Robinson Stadium
* Ojai-Santa Paula 12, Damien 0
* Camarillo 9, Pomona 3
* Valley Chatsworth 15, Westside 4
at Jackie Robinson Stadium
* 10 a.m.--Ojai-SP vs. Pomona
Winner to 6 p.m. game
* 2 p.m.-- Valley Chatsworth vs. Camarillo
Loser to 6 p.m. game, winner to championship round on Sunday