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Ocean View finds comfort zone on Angels' field
ANAHEIM — Ocean View took the field Friday afternoon facing a fair amount of pressure. After losing in the wild-card round last season, and with most of last year’s roster returning, the Seahawks were trying to avoid another early-round loss.
Raising the stakes even higher was the fact the Seahawks were playing at Angel Stadium.
Thanks to a three-run first inning and a dominant performance by pitcher Braydon Salzman, Ocean View defeated Lancaster, 3-1, in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 3 baseball playoffs.
“It gets rid of all the butterflies,” Ocean View coach Shane Borowski said of his team’s early lead. “Both teams are nervous and anxious to play in an environment like this, and to get that lead took all the nerves out of it, and it was just fun from there.”
Salzman did not allow a hit until an infield single in the fourth inning. The junior threw six innings and allowed two hits and one unearned run, striking out seven. Four of his strikeouts were on called third strikes.
“When he’s on, he’s a master at hitting his spots,” Borowski said. “His release point is so consistent on every pitch that you don’t know what’s coming. Guys are just guessing nonstop against him, and when you have the velocity on the ball that he does, this is what happens.”
After Salzman walked the leadoff batter in the seventh, Michael Giacone came in and retired the three batters he faced to pick up the save. Giacone also had a strong day offensively, going 2 for 2 with a walk, a run scored and two stolen bases.
Ocean View (18-9) will play at Palm Desert on Tuesday in the second round.
After securing their first playoff win in four years, the Seahawks hope that ending the drought might spur a deep postseason run.
“These guys were hungry,” Borowski said. “They felt they should have won that game last year, and it’s been on their minds all year long. They wanted this game real bad.”
Ocean View was given the opportunity to play its game at Angel Stadium as part of a program the Angels started last year that makes the stadium available for local teams.