Shortstop Nate Renard swings his bat against the Kennedy High School pitcher on May 6.
Shortstop Nate Renard swings his bat against the Kennedy High School pitcher on May 6.

Baseball souring through Division II playoffs

After a 10-10 overall season record, the baseball team has been performing incredibly well in their playoff season, with an inside-the-park homerun and a nailbiting game against the top seed in the division.

On Saturday, May 11, baseball was notified that they had qualified to participate in the 2024 Division II playoffs and would play their first game three days later against Sun Valley Magnet. 

The team spent the next few days practicing and preparing for what Sun Valley Magnet would bring to them. Soon, they would discover that all the practicing during the regular season and days before the first playoff game would pay off.

May 14 finally came. The Wolves took the lead in the first inning, scoring four runs against the opposing team’s one. The team continued to score in the third, fourth and sixth innings, resulting in the game ending in a Wolves win, 7-3.

Throughout the game, the team was able to steal eight bases, with center fielder Jeremy Henriquez, right fielder Alejandro Diaz, catcher Edward Islas and third baseman Marvin Rivera contributing to that number. The team also only needed three pitchers to defeat Sun Valley; all performed amazingly. 

Henriquez started on the mound and pitched three and a half innings, striking out four batters. First baseman Joaquin Boche took over for Henriquez and pitched one and a half innings and struck out three batters. Shortstop Nate Renard ended the game, pitching the remainder of the innings and striking out four batters. 

With their second playoff game happening two days after their first game, the team went straight back to practicing. 

On Thursday, May 16, the team traveled to Woodrow Wilson High School to play against the number one seed in the division, Bravo High School. Being the 16th seed in the division and playing the number one seed made the team nervous; however, that feeling was soon driven away by their determination to win and a strong desire to advance to the quarterfinals. 

Junior Joaquin Boche started on the mound and pitched six innings, striking out five opposing batters. The Wolves struggled to score runs in the first five innings where they began to lose hope of winning the game, with the score being 0-2 and only two innings left in the remainder of the game. 

First baseman Joaquin Boche dodges a Kennedy Cougar’s pitch from outside the strike-zone. (THE MIRROR | FARAH ALSIBAI)

Once the sixth inning began the team scored three runs, scoring 3-2. Still, with this score, the team needed more reassurance that they would be able to win and leave Bravo in the dust, and soon they did just that. 

With the Wolves’s last at-bat coming up, the team was eager to get into the batter’s box and show Bravo who’s best. The team scored five runs in the last inning. 

Sophomore Alejandro Diaz went up to bat with bases loaded after receiving a pep talk from his teammates and was determined to get a hit for his team. He scored a home run, bringing all his teammates to home plate and scoring four runs. 

Soon, the Wolves went out for Bravos’s very last at-bat, with the score being 8-2. Unfortunately, the Wolves faced some trouble with pitching, resulting in Bravo scoring five runs by walks due to loaded bases. The Wolves had to switch in four different players to pitch just to prevent Bravo from winning, resulting in a score of 8-7. 

“Alejandro’s home run did so much for us,” Boche expressed. “I was at home plate yelling at him to get down and get dirty which he did and he ended up being safe, we then celebrated with the guys.” 

Senior Marvin Rivera was the last pitcher who stepped up and finished off the game 8-7 by only throwing two pitches. Throughout the game, the Wolves had compiled 10 stolen bases, with Jeremy Henriquez and second baseman Alexis Martinez being the players with the highest stolen bases.

“This game was great, everyone did their jobs, the last inning was crazy but we were able to win,” Boche said. 

With Bravos’s defeat, the Wolves have advanced to the quarterfinals, where they will face Monroe High School on Saturday, May 18 at three p.m. Luckily for the Wolves, they have played this team multiple times in the past, so they know what to expect. 

It all depends on how the team executes on Saturday. 

“I feel ready for this game, we have played these guys many times before so it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, we just need to execute,” Boche expressed. “I’m excited for what me and the guys can do.” 

The team has done so much just to make it to the playoffs. With their amazing success, there is a bright future for the Wolves. Make sure to go out and support the amazing team of baseball players to the Division II championships.

“We want to make it all the way in playoffs,” Boche said. “Pressure makes diamonds, and we’re all grade A.”  

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About the Contributor
Isabel Valles
Isabel Valles, Athletics Editor
Through participating in multiple sports writing competitions, I was able to prove my commitment to the class and was chosen to become sports editor in my second year of journalism. My love for sports writing came around the time my love for sports developed around 6 years ago. Another thing I love about writing about sports is being able to inform and catch up readers about games that they may have missed. Currently I play three sports, flag football, track and field, and basketball. After high school I plan on attending either the University of Pennsylvania or the University of Santa Cruz. My goal for this year as editor is to become a better leader and learn from any mistakes that I might make in the process.
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