Thursday’s quarterfinal rounds in the Central Section playoffs had much different results for two high schools in Eastern Madera County, as the Minarets Mustangs rolled over Sierra Pacific 16-7 in D-V, while the Yosemite Badgers lost 19-1 to No. 1 seed Firebaugh in D-IV.
With the win, Minarets (18-8-1) face their own No. 1 seed in D-V Central Valley Christian (18-12) Wednesday. That game begins at 4:30 p.m., with the winner advancing to the division championship May 30.
For the No. 4 seeded Mustangs, the No. 5 Golden Bears (17-12-1) put up a fight until the fifth inning, when the bats of Minarets players caught fire for most of the team’s runs.
Freshman left-handed pitcher Aaron Hall started on the mound for Minarets, pitching five innings while allowing three runs. At the plate, Hall was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a double, Hunter Thompson was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a triple, and Christian Low was 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
Another freshman, Tyler Painter, closed out the game for the Mustangs.
Though the season ends for Yosemite (11-15), they scored a 4-1 victory over Dos Palos (11-12-2) in the opening rounds on May 16. It was the first playoff win for Yosemite since 2009-10, behind strong pitching from freshman Tyler Matyshock, who allowed one run in six innings.
Tyler Wallace helped out at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and RBI.
Then the Badgers faced one of the Central Section’s top teams in the Firebaugh Eagles (25-3).
Head coach JD Burnett said though that game was one sided, he was proud of his players, especially for being such a young team with only three seniors.
“Firebaugh was a tough opponent opponent operating on all cylinders,” Burnett said. “But I’m proud of the way our young team dealt with the adversity of our season and found a way to compete in a tough league, and won a playoff game.”
Firebaugh faced Exeter (19-10) at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on their home field.