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Schriever makes sure Esperanza advances
ANAHEIM – Esperanza baseball coach Mike Curran told his team, “Boys, we’re practicing tomorrow!”
The Aztecs let out a cheer, happy to still have a reason to practice.
Esperanza scored only one run and was held to three hits, but Blake Schriever had 10 strikeouts and pitched the Aztecs to a 1-0 victory over visiting Tustin in a CIF-SS Division 1 first-round game Friday.
Esperanza (20-9) will play at Murrieta Mesa of Murrieta in the second round Tuesday.
“He’s been that good all year,” Curran said of Schriever. “I can’t say enough about him. We don’t score a lot, but you know what, hey, one was enough today.”
Schriever allowed four hits and no walks, hit one batter and recorded a strikeout in six of his seven innings.
“My slider was really working today,” said Schriever, a senior. “I was able to hit my spots all day. I just try to stay loose and have a good time, but still stay focused. I had a great mindset coming into this game.”
Cole Hoskins was almost as dominant for Tustin (18-3). He pitched six innings, allowed three hits and three walks and added six strikeouts.
“He’s been our workhorse,” Tustin coach Charles Chatman said. “He’s weather-tested. You know he’s going to keep you in the baseball game until you figure things out.”
Esperanza broke through in the second inning.
Josh Sedoff got on base with a one-out single and advanced to second on a groundout. With two outs and two strikes, Cameron Bashta sent a single to center field to score Sedoff.
“When you’re playing at this level against the quality of teams, the game usually comes down to that,” Chatman said. “Somebody’s going to have to clutch up with two outs and get a hit. They did and we didn’t.”
Schriever relied on his slider in the third and fourth innings to get five consecutive swinging strikeouts.
The right-hander got 1-2-3 innings in the fifth, sixth and seventh, including two strikeouts in the final inning to wrap up the victory.