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SCCS falls in CIF quarters to Riverside Prep

Cards launch two comebacks but fall short

Posted: May 30, 2014 10:21 p.m.
Updated: May 30, 2014 10:21 p.m.

Santa Clarita Christian pitcher Noah Dent, left, can't handle a throw at home plate as Riverside Prep's William Martinez scores after a wild pitch on Friday at The Master's College during the CIF-SS Division VII quarterfinals.


This “youth” label kept getting in the way of Santa Clarita Christian baseball considering itself a bona fide CIF-championship caliber team this season.

Even its head coach Garrick Moss kept saying that coaches in his own division were overrating them based off their record.

But Friday’s CIF-Southern Section Division VII quarterfinal 10-7 loss to Riverside Prep at The Master’s College showed that the Cardinals were very much CIF champion caliber.

This was a game the Cardinals (20-2) can look back on in two ways — that they should have had the Silver Knights (22-4-1) and that they proved their maturity.

SCCS scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning after falling behind 8-0.

And in the bottom of the seventh with Cooper Roig up and the bases loaded with two outs in a 10-7 game, the winning run was at the plate.

Roig grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game, but the Cardinals climbed almost all the way out of a deep hole they dug for themselves.

“If we don’t walk the amount of guys we did and make the errors, that game’s a different game,” Moss said.

Riverside Prep head coach Chris Bowers couldn’t stop complimenting the Cardinals after the game.

“Oh man, you saw it. That’s a good team over there. That’s a great team,” Bowers said. “We were lucky to get on them early.”

Noah Dent, one of three freshmen in the starting lineup and nine underclassmen, started on the mound and didn’t have it early.

He came into the game with a 0.52 ERA for the season and six walks in 54 innings.

He walked the first three batters of the game, who all scored in a three-run first inning for the Silver Knights.

Things were so frustrating for Dent early on that he threw a knuckleball — which is not usually part of his repertoire.

“I don’t know what happened,” Dent said. “I couldn’t find the strike zone early and didn’t have the defense, which was partly my fault. I gave up way too many walks.”

The Cardinal defense failed him in the second inning when a leadoff error off the bat of William Martinez led to a run when he scored on a wild pitch.

E.J. Hieber’s bloop double brought in a run for a 5-0 Riverside Christian lead.

In the fourth, back-to-back errors led to two more runs and Diego Villa Gomez’s RBI triple in the fifth gave the Silver Knights an 8-0 cushion.

SCCS committed six errors in the game.

Meanwhile, senior Kyle Moore was cruising on the mound for Riverside Prep by getting batters behind with first-pitch strikes and mixing in effective breaking pitches, especially late in the count.

Riverside Prep went to Hieber for relief to start the fifth and SCCS went off.

All six Cardinals he faced reached base.

Tommy Curry singled in the first run, Caleb Peavy singled in two, Colton Huckabone added an RBI single when Moore re-entered the game, and a fifth run crossed the plate on a wild pitch.

“I think reality set in that the season might be over,” Dent said on why the bats started working.

However, Riverside Prep got two back in the top of the sixth on a Moore double off the wall in left field.

The extra runs ended up being necessary as Moore tired late and the Cardinals’ first three batters reached base — the third batter on an error that Curry scored on.

Later with the bases loaded and Moore going to 3-0 on Joe Sparks, the Silver Knights went to reliever Justin Teal.

His first pitch was a ball, allowing SCCS to cut the lead to 10-7.

Roig followed and grounded slowly past the mound, but right to second base where shortstop Manuel Gonzalez stepped on the bag to end the game.

But the future is bright.

The No. 1 seeded team in the division will likely start the 2015 team as the No. 1 team in the division.

And they will have to consider themselves CIF-championship caliber.

“We have a shot,” Moss said.


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