GLENDALE — Cameron Doran brought his playoff game to the mound for the Hoover High baseball team, tossing five scoreless innings to close out the Tornadoes' CIF Southern Section Division II wild-card playoff game on Wednesday at Bellflower.
But Buccaneers starter Sebastian Frutos was a touch better than the Hoover senior captain, whose only two lapses — single runs allowed in each of the first two innings — proved to be the difference in a 2-1 loss.
"In the beginning, I was having problems finding the zone and working from behind in counts to hitters," Doran said. "[After the first two innings] I was able to bear down and find the strike zone and found a rhythm."
Doran finished with a two-run, six-hit complete game and drove in the Tornadoes' only run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, while Frutos used a potent fastball-changeup-curve blend to limit Hoover (9-17) to just two hits on the day.
Bellflower (17-8) got on the board in the first inning on a leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt and a run-scoring wild pitch. Then, in the second inning, a leadoff single and a hit by pitch put runners at first and second with no outs and two groundouts later the Buccaneers had a 2-0 lead.
"Cam had a little problem in the beginning with control, but once he got into his rhythm we basically shut them down and played good defense behind him," Hoover Coach Joe Cotti said.
The Tornadoes, who finished fourth in the Pacific League, got a rally going in the top of the sixth when Will Davis worked a leadoff walk and Joey Yepez followed with a base hit.
With Doran at the plate, Fruto served up a wild pitch allowing the runners to advance and setting the stage for a run-scoring fly ball.
But Hoover, which also got a hit from Michael Zalin in the game, couldn't extend its sixth-inning rally any further and never threatened thereafter.
"He was able to use all three of his pitches," Doran said of Frutos. "He kept us off-balance."