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Regional playoffs: Moorpark suffers heartbreaking defeat in Division II final

Orange Lutheran players celebrate winning the Division I regional championship.
(Steve Galluzzo)
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Crazy.

That’s the word to best describe the emotional roller-coaster of the Moorpark High baseball team over the last two weeks.

Moorpark, the team that thought it won the Southern Section Division 2 baseball title on a walk-off home run in the seventh inning last month, only to see the umpires rule the ball bounced for a ground-rule double, faced more improbable drama Saturday in the Southern California Regional Division II championship game in Bakersfield.

The Musketeers took a 4-0 lead over Liberty into the bottom of seventh inning, only to see Brock Thompson tie the score on a one-out, three-run home run. Liberty ended up winning 6-5 on a walk-off RBI double with two outs in the 10th inning by Brody Berry.

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Moorpark’s ability to persevere was tested over and over. After the score was tied in the seventh, Taylor Busch, the player who hit the home run that turned into a ground-rule double in a 7-6 loss to Hart on May 18, delivered an RBI double in the top of the eighth inning for a 5-4 Moorpark lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, Liberty loaded the bases with two outs and tied the score on a single, but center fielder Jacob Shannon-Wilkerson threw out the runner at the plate trying to score from second to force a ninth inning.

Sophomore pitcher Carson Cerny limited the Patriots to two hits and no runs for six innings. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth by getting a popout to end the inning.

Sophomore AJ Mai and junior Cameron Johnson each hit home runs for Moorpark, which finished 21-12-1 for first-year coach Aaron Garcia.

DIVISION I: Orange Lutheran 7, La Mirada 6: Finnegan Stewart keyed a five-run first inning with a three-run double to help the Lancers (28-7) finish as regional champions. Ross Clark got a strikeout to end the game.

DIVISION III: St. John Bosco 5, Bakersfield Christian 4: The Braves rallied from a 4-0 deficit to win the title under first-year coach Andy Rojo. Zach Woodson had the key hit, a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth to tie the score 4-4. The Braves won it in the bottom of the seventh when a balk was called with runners on first and third.

DIVISION IV: Oxnard Pacifica 2, University City 1: Ricky Garcia and Alex Villicana combined on a six-hitter to lift Pacifica to the championship.

DIVISION V: Delano Chavez 8, Azusa 6: It took nine innings to decide the Division V champion.

Softball

DIVISION I: Murrieta Mesa 8, Del Norte 2: The Rams received 14 strikeouts from Lilly Hauser to win the regional. Paige Bambarger had two hits and three RBIs.

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DIVISION II: Etiwanda 5, Chula Vista Mater Dei 4: Freshman Frankie Nevarez had two RBIs to help the Eagles survive a seventh-inning rally attempt by Mater Dei to win the title. Mater Dei scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh before Kimmy Aleman recorded consecutive strikeouts to secure the victory.

DIVISION IV: Oceanside 15, Garfield 4: Strong hitting lifted Oceanside to victory.

DIVISION V: Coastal Academay 7, Chatsworth 4: Sofia Tillis struck out nine for Coastal Academy.

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