The Minarets Mustangs baseball team (18-8-1, 8-2 West Sequoia League) won in the quarterfinals of the CIF D-V section playoffs on May 19, beating the Sierra Pacific Golden Bears 16-7, but lost in the semifinals to No. 1 seed Central Valley Christian Tuesday.
Freshman Aaron Hall took the mound for the Mustangs, having beaten the Golden Bears (17-12-1) earlier this year in the Selma Classic, 3-1.
Hall gave up back to back doubles in the first inning and another in the second for the Golden Bears to take a 2-1 lead. Another unearned run in the third gave Sierra Pacific a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the second.
The Mustangs tied the game at three each in the bottom of the third when Christian Low’s suicide squeeze caught Sierra Pacific off guard while Low beat out the throw to first as Minarets took the lead for good.
Mustang Coach Jesse Darrah went to the small ball game as Riley Hillerman sacrifice bunted Low into scoring position. Add another infield hit along with a walk and the bases were loaded. Hunter Thompson then delivered a line drive to the center field gap to empty the bases with a standup triple and a 7-3 lead.
Hall did his part with an infield hit to score Thompson and the Mustangs held a 8-3 lead.
It got worse for the Golden Bears in the fourth inning as Drew Robertson led off the inning with an infield single, and batted again in the same inning as the Mustangs scored eight more runs.
Hillerman followed with a double, two more infield hits loaded the bases for Thompson’s hit to shortstop, resulting in an error and another Mustang run. Andrew Carrick stepped to the plate and crushed a three-run double.
It was was 16-3 by the end of four when Darrah emptied the bench and put in freshman pitcher Tyler Painter to finish the game.
The Golden Bears scored four runs in the sixth, but it was too little too late. Painter recorded the last out with a strikeout.
With a nine game winning streak, the No. 4 seeded Mustangs earned a match with CVC (18-12), but the Cavaliers proved too strong, beating Minarets 14-5.
CVC came off a 13-0 rout of Caruthers in the second round. The Cavaliers will face the No. 2 seed Chavez (21-4) in the championship game May 30. Chavez beat No. 3 seed Liberty of the Madera Ranchos 8-7 in the semifinals.