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’Cats win first-ever playoff game

West Ranch gets things going early by scoring five runs in the first inning

Posted: May 22, 2009 9:56 p.m.
Updated: May 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.

West Ranch's Trevor Fredrickson burst out of the batters box in a game against El Dorado at West Ranch Friday.

 
West Ranch baseball erupted in the first inning and rode the arm of Trevor Fredrickson to a decisive win and the first playoff victory in the school’s history Friday, scoring a 6-2 decision over El Dorado at home.

The Wildcats (21-7) put five runs on the board in the first inning to give Fredrickson the cushion he needed to cruise to a complete-game victory in the first round CIF-Southern Section Division I contest.

“We jumped out and got a lot of solid swings,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill. “Our offense has been streaky this year, and that can be a good thing and a bad thing, but it’s a lot of fun to watch when it’s going well.”

West Ranch batted around in the first frame tallying six hits against El Dorado starting pitcher Kyle Twomey, chasing him after only two-thirds of an inning.

Jake Bernards and Cody Howard both provided RBI doubles to key the rally.

“To have our offense go out and grab a lead helped me out big time,” Fredrickson said. “I was able to just focus on getting ahead of batters and putting the ball where I wanted to. It takes some pressure off when you know that a mistake won’t cost you too much.”

The Golden Hawks (16-11) pushed an unearned run across in the second when a single off the bat of Chris Hefner was booted in the outfield, allowing Chris Stair to come around to score, but Fredrickson fanned Jon Suda to end the frame.

The Wildcat senior then locked in to post a pair of shutout innings before another error helped El Dorado score its second run.

“We had some chances today,” said El Dorado head coach Steve Gullotti. “We just weren’t able to get that one hit that we needed to get back into it. When a team jumps out on you like that it can kind of take a team out of the game. I was really proud that our guys didn’t let that happen. There is nothing that I have to be displeased about when it comes to this group of guys.”

Fredrickson also had nothing to be displeased about. The right-hander allowed eight hits, no earned runs and struck out six, while tallying the Wildcats first playoff win. Bernards led the offensive charge with three hits, including two doubles and a pair of RBIs.

“It’s awesome to be the guy that got the first win,” Fredrickson said. “This was a really big game for us, and it was great to come out on top. My catcher called an excellent game, and this is something that I’ll remember for a long time.”

West Ranch will not have too much time to enjoy its first taste of playoff success. The Wildcats will take on Edison in a second round contest on Tuesday.

Edison defeated Lakewood 11-1 Friday.

“Obviously this is a great day for our program,” Burrill said. “We have been working toward this for years so to finally get a playoff win is an experience that I’m glad these guys could have. Right now we are focused on finding the next arm to turn to so we can keep this going. A couple of days ago we had a banquet, and Fredrickson was named our MVP. I think we saw why today.”

kdamore@the-signal.com

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