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Mission Viejo advances to Div. 2 title game
Mission Viejo got a complete game out of sophomore pitcher Tanner Bibee and came through with several clutch hits to defeat visiting Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta, 4-2, on Tuesday and advance to the CIF-SS Division 2 baseball final.
The Diablos (25-10) play Chino Hills (21-8) at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino on Saturday. The time of the game will be announced today.
“It’s amazing,” Diablos coach Chris Ashbach said. “We get a chance to play for a CIF championship.”
After allowing two runs on three hits in the first inning, Bibee allowed only four hits the rest of the way.
“It’s awesome to think about as a sophomore already going to a CIF championship and going to a stadium and playing there,” Bibee said. “It’s unbelievable.”
“It’s always been a dream of mine to get to a championship of this caliber.”
Bibee was assisted by solid defensive play from the Mission Viejo infield.
After the Diablos took a 3-2 lead in the fifth, Crescenta Valley (25-6) had man on second base when Michael Salorio made a diving catch on a line drive at third base to prevent a run.
To get the lead, Salorio scored on an error in the third, and Thomas Byrne and Tyler Odekirk each drove in a run in the fifth.
Salorio added a RBI single in the sixth.
“I thought we had a great plan and our kids executed it really well,” Ashbach said.
Mission Viejo won its only CIF-SS baseball championship in 2011.
“They’ve got all the cliché stuff going right now,” Ashbach said of his players. “They can beat anybody.”
In Division 2:
Chino Hills 4, San Clemente 3: Will Tribucher gave the Tritons a chance. The senior left-hander went the distance and gave up four runs on six hits.
Tribucher also went 3 for 4 at the plate, including a two-out, seventh-inning RBI double to pull the Tritons to within one run.
But Chino Hills ace Bailey Falter, who came on in the seventh, got a strikeout with runners on second and third to finish off San Clemente in the semifinal at Chino Hills High.
Chino Hills (21-8) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning with the help from a couple of Tritons errors, and the Huskies would not be caught.
“We came out pretty tight in the first inning and misplayed a couple balls,” Tritons coach David Gellatly said. “It was a tough ballpark to play in and the wind was blowing out, but our guys settled down and played the way we're capable of playing. We battled to the end.”
Dylan Riddle cut San Clemente’s deficit to 2-1 with a solo home run in the second inning.
Lucas Herbert had an RBI single with two outs in the seventh and Tribucher followed with his run-scoring double.
“We made some mistakes today, but I'll never forget the brothers I played with all season,” Tribucher, the University of Michigan commit said. “I wouldn't trade that experience for anything in the world.”
Tribucher singled twice, doubled and struck out five. Riddle went 2 for 3, including the home run for San Clemente (25-8).
In the sixth inning, Chino Hills failed on two squeeze attempts and had two runners tagged out at the plate.