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Estancia baseball blanks Mendez in regional opener

Estancia shortstop Jack Moyer (8) tags out the Mendez runner stealing second base on Tuesday.
Estancia shortstop Jack Moyer (8) tags out the Mendez runner stealing second base during the first round of the CIF Southern California Regional Division V championships on Tuesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

There were many things for the home fans to cheer on Tuesday afternoon at the Estancia High baseball diamond. One hit stood out more than the others, though.

The applause was thunderous for Eagles senior Arturo Santillan, who poked a single back up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Santillan heard it from the crowd even more as he was subbed out of the game for a pinch-runner. He is a special needs student at Estancia, coach Nate Goellrich said.

“He’s drawn some walks this year, but that was his first hit,” Goellrich said. “He comes out every day and puts on the pants, puts on the uniform just like everybody else. I’m glad he had success. He deserved it.”

Top-seeded Estancia breezed to a 13-0 five-inning win over Los Angeles Mendez in the first round of the CIF Southern California Regional Division V playoffs.

Estancia starting pitcher Trevor Scott throws a strike against Mendez on Tuesday.
Estancia starting pitcher Trevor Scott throws a strike in the first round of the CIF Southern California Regional Division V championships against Mendez on Tuesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The Eagles (29-5) will host No. 4-seeded Delano Kennedy in a Division V semifinal game on Thursday at 4 p.m.

Estancia, in its first game since winning its first CIF championship in program history, did not appear sluggish against CIF Los Angeles City Section Division 3 champion Mendez (15-7). The hosts scored two runs in the first inning, and nine more in the second.

Even in the abbreviated game, everyone in the batting order got on base at least once. Senior shortstop Jack Moyer and sophomore Andrew Coyotzi each had triples for Estancia, and combined for four runs scored and four driven in.

James De La O was two for three with a double and two RBIs, and senior catcher Blake Peck also drove home a pair of runs.

“We keep playing our game,” said Peck after Estancia recorded its 11th straight win. “We’ve been on a straight course recently. We’ve been performing well and we’re going to keep performing well. It feels good to keep playing. High school baseball is pretty cool … you want to have fun and keep playing no matter what.”

Estancia's James De La O slugs a hit during first round of the CIF Southern California Regional Division V championships.
Estancia’s James De La O slugs a hit during first round of the CIF Southern California Regional Division V championships against Mendez on Tuesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

As importantly as the hits, the Eagles were able to save their pitching staff. Senior starter Trevor Scott went just two innings, while De La O, Miles Moyer and Andrew Mits pitched one inning each.

In high school, pitchers are limited to 10 innings per week, so Estancia is set up well for the rest of the week. If the Eagles win Thursday, they would also host the Division V regional title game on Saturday.

Estancia has lost just once at home all season, a 14-7 setback against Calvary Chapel on March 29.

“We feel comfortable here,” Goellrich said. “It’s a nice feeling knowing that the championship has to be won on our field, by us or by our opponent.”

Estancia baserunner John Uchytil rounds third and heads for home against Mendez on Tuesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

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