Capistrano Valley Christian baseball coach Clemente Bonilla got a text message from St. Margaret’s coach Mel Taylor in the second inning of the Eagles Friday night CIF quarterfinal match against visiting Sierra Canyon May 25.
The text from Taylor was short and sweet. The Tartans had won their quarterfinal matchup against Viewpoint earlier that day.
That meant if the Eagles could pull off a victory they would play their neighbor from down the road in the semi finals May 29.
The Eagles answered Taylor’s text with another solid victory, defeating Sierra Canyon 6-1 and punching their ticket to the CIF Southern Section Division 6 semifinals.
With the win the Eagles set a new school record for wins in a season (22) and will be the first team in school history to represent Capistrano Valley Christian in the semi final round.
The Eagles had scored 37 runs in their previous two playoff victories, but only needed six to defeat Sierra Canyon.
Eagles senior first baseman and leadoff hitter Jacen Carpenter set the table all night by gathering three hits scoring two runs and stealing a base. Carpenter’s single, double and triple put him just a home run shy of the cycle.
In 2011 Carpenter was the team’s cleanup hitter, where he hit eight home runs, but a lack of power bats in the Eagles lineup in 2012 caused Bonilla to switch things up.
“I always knew Jacen could run…so we thought if (teams) pitch to him, great, he can have a chance at the ball and they’re going to pay for that.” Bonilla said.
Carpenter started things off with a leadoff triple and was promptly knocked in by sophomore third baseman Parker Coss to make it 1-0. Coss then stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly, making it 2-0.
The Eagles would tag on four more runs in the third inning as a result of a few hits and some errors made by Sierra Canyon on defense.
Now it comes down to the semi finals, where the Eagles will square off against a team in St. Margaret’s that has been on a run much like their own.
“(St. Margaret’s) is playing on a hot streak right now. And so are we,” Bonilla said. “(The Eagles) just need to keep their same approach…I told them not to think about that championship game yet. That’s focusing on an outcome. We need to focus on our process against (St. Margaret’s)”.