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Troy uses strong finish to advance in playoffs

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

MONTEBELLO - Troy saved its best for last in a 6-2 victory over Montebello in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 4 baseball playoffs Friday.

Trailing 2-0, the Warriors scored once in the fifth inning, four times in the sixth and added a run in the seventh for their first playoff win since 2011.

Troy coach David Shirota made a calculated gamble to save ace Brett Boller for the latter part of the game, and that moved paid off well.

Boller (6-3) entered in the fourth inning and trailed, 2-0. The junior left-hander went four scoreless innings, gave up one hit and struck out two to pick up the win.

Troy will host No. 2-seed South Torrance (21-8) in the second round Tuesday. The Spartans defeated Montclair, 13-4, on Friday.

Montebello (14-11) took a 2-0 lead in the third when Adam Rubio's single off Warriors starter Jacob Alvarez plated Andrew Jimenez and Rich Santoscoy.

“We wanted to save Brett, who has been our No. 1 guy all season for later in the game and knowing we could use him again on Tuesday if we won,” Shirota said. “We knew Alvarez would give them a different look and our offense came through late.”

Kris Amporo’s RBI ground out in the fifth got Troy to within 2-1.

It was the four-run sixth inning, behind three hits, a walk, a hit batter and a squeeze, that gave the Warriors the lead.

Amporo singled home one run, Kevin Deming knocked in two with a hit and Austin Lowe’s squeeze gave Troy a 5-2 lead.

The Warriors added a run in the seventh.

“I'm used to starting, but I was told early in the week that I'd be coming on in relief and had to get mentally prepared to do that," Boller said. "It was great to see us get those runs late and it definitely eased the pressure I felt out there."

Michael Lozano, Cody Sandefur and Deming had two hits each for Troy.

Sandefur singled to center in the second inning with Lozano at second and the game scoreless. But Montebello's Jacob Aguirre threw a strike from center field to nail Lozano at the plate.

Rubio had two of the Oilers’ four hits.

Jonathan Romero got the loss after going five-plus innings and allowing four runs on six hits. He struck out five before being knocked out in the four-run sixth inning.


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