The Minarets Mustangs baseball team (16-13, 7-3 WSL), received the No. 1 seed entering Central Section Division VI playoffs last week after giving West Sequoia League Champion Caruthers (22-3-1, 9-1) their first league loss (7-3) and shutting out the Parlier Panthers (6-9, 3-7) 9-0.
The Mustangs will play a second round home game at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) against the winner of the McFarland (11-12, 6-4) and East Sierra League Co-Champion Kings Christian (16-8, 9-1).
On May 10, the Mustangs beat the Caruthers Blue Raiders 7-3.
After surrendering a run in the first inning, the Mustangs answered back with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Mustangs second baseman Scott Parker collect his second hit of the game, a lead off triple. Sam Reyes followed with his second, a single to left, scoring Parker. Center fielder Cedar Robertson,(.470) drove in Reyes with the Mustangs eighth single of the game for a 5-1 Mustang lead.
The Mustangs had 13 hits in the game including Conly Biglione's (.576) lead off double to left field in the fourth. Keenan Reardon reached first on a fielders choice as Biglione was thrown out at the plate.Reyes then scorched a line drive down the left field line to score two more runs and give Minarets a 7-1 lead after four.
With two outs in the sixth inning, starter Chance Carter,(3-3, 3.07 ERA) began to show signs of tiring. A single, followed by two walks, a wild pitch and an error led to two Blue Raider runs in the inning.
Eric Pincus relieved to record the save and give Caruthers their only league loss which would force a showdown with Fowler in their final game of the season.
The Mustangs finished the regular season with the win over Parlier last Thursday. Pincus held Panthers to two hits, while striking out 12. Pincus ranks in the top 10 of several pitching categories in the Central Section. He is currently ranked No. 5 in ERA (1.21), his 8-2 record leads the team in wins, and places him No. 9 in the Valley. His 78 strikeouts places him at No. 11 in the Central Section. Opposing batters are hitting .180 against his 85 m.p.h. fastball. Of the 15 games he has pitched, Pincus has a .000 ERA in nine of the contests. He has surrendered 38 hits in 262 batters that he has faced.
The Mustangs scored two runs in the first and fourth inning, and added five more in the in the fifth,
After starting the season with eight games against Division 1 schools, and playing their first 18 games on the road, including tournaments in Las Vegas, Atwater, Caruthers, and a double header in Palm Springs, the Mustangs now find themselves playing for a sectional title in only their second year of varsity baseball.
The team has first round bye in the division play-offs and home field advantage. The Mustangs have only lost one game at home this season.
Baseball appears to be the sport of choice at Minarets. Head varsity coach and school athletic director, Don Watkins, had three teams this year, including JV and freshman squads. In all, more than 50 students tried out for the three teams, more than 10% of the school's enrollment. Coach John Martins JV squad went 11-4 on the year, with a starting line up that included seven freshman.