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By Zach Cavanagh
It’s been a tremendous baseball season in San Juan Capistrano right down to the last day of regular-season competition.
Four out of the five city teams have qualified for the playoffs, including two battling each other for a league title.
With the CIF-SS baseball playoff brackets being released on Monday, April 29—and the playoffs opening with wild-card games on Tuesday, April 30 or Wednesday, May 1 and first-round games on Thursday, May 2 or Friday, May 3—let’s check in on the postseason-bound playoff teams in San Juan Capistrano.
San Juan Hills
The Stallions (15-14, 6-5) clinched their playoff spot early by taking the first two of three games against San Clemente on April 8 and 10. San Clemente had been right on the tail of San Juan Hills, but the pair of wins pushed the Tritons out of playoff contention.
The Stallions closed the regular season by splitting a nonleague doubleheader with El Toro (a 10-3 loss and a 7-4 win on April 19 at Saddleback College) and then playing a pair of league games against Aliso Niguel.
San Juan Hills dropped the first game with Aliso Niguel, 8-3, on Tuesday, April 23, but the Stallions still had a shot at second place in the Sea View League as they entered the final day tied with Trabuco Hills on Thursday, April 25. Results of the Stallions’ second game against Aliso Niguel on April 25 were not available at press time.
San Juan Hills will enter the playoffs in Division 3.
The Lions (17-12, 8-6) battled the tough competition in the Trinity League all the way to the final series of the regular season to clinch a playoff spot and fight for second place in league.
Entering the last week of the season, JSerra had only a one-game lead on third place over Servite and needed to sweep a three-game series with Santa Margarita to reach second-place.
The Lions got to work and earned a convincing 11-3 win at Santa Margarita on Tuesday, April 23 and then an impressive 1-0 shutout of the Eagles at JSerra on Wednesday, April 24. JSerra clinched a playoff spot out of the Trinity League and made the league finale on Thursday, April 25 at Santa Margarita a playoff game for second place.
Results of the game were not available at press time.
JSerra has one more game to sneak in before the Division 1 playoffs, as the Lions take on Archbishop Mitty of San Jose in the Boras Classic California Championship game on Saturday, April 27 at University of San Diego. JSerra was the South winner in the Boras Classic, and Archbishop Mitty won the North to set up the title game.
Capistrano Valley Christian and St. Margaret’s
The two playoff-bound smaller schools in town are grouped together here as they’ve had quite the battle for the top of the San Joaquin League.
St. Margaret’s began the season 0-5, with the fifth loss coming at the hands of Capistrano Valley Christian. Since then, the Tartans have strung together 12 wins in a row, with the first coming against the Eagles.
Capistrano Valley Christian (13-14, 7-1) has managed to stay one step ahead of St. Margaret’s (12-5, 7-2) throughout the season and held a half-game lead going into the Eagles’ regular-season finale on Thursday, April 25 at Sage Hill. Results were not available at press time.
If CVC beat Sage Hill, the Eagles would take the outright league title. A loss would make them co-champions with the Tartans.
CVC will go into the Division 3 playoffs. St. Margaret’s will play in Division 5.