Mission Viejo finds way into second round


MISSION VIEJO - In the playoffs, all that matters is winning.

Whether it’s scratching out a few runs, getting a big lead or holding on late, the victory is what counts.

The Mission Viejo baseball team experienced all of that in its CIF-SS Division 2 first-round game on Friday.

Behind a complete game by pitcher Patrick Sandoval, the Diablos defeated Yucaipa, 6-4, at Mission Viejo High and advanced to the second round.

Mission Viejo (22-10) will play Oxnard in the second round Tuesday at 3:15 p.m.

“It’s playoffs and we’ll take it,” Mission Viejo coach Chris Ashbach. “Patrick’s been in a lot of ballgames where we didn’t get him any runs this year. We owed him a few.”

The Diablos and Yucaipa (18-11) traded small-ball runs in the first two innings and Mission Viejo built a 2-1 lead.

After striking out with the bases loaded in the third, Tyler Odekirk again came up with the bases loaded in the fourth. Odekirk worked from 0-2 to a full count and then lined a single into left field to score two for a 5-1 lead.

“That was huge,” Odekirk said. “It was a big moment for us. Getting Patrick some more runs on the board and being able to get ahead.”

Sandoval needed the runs after he gave up a three-run home run to Hunter Reade in the fifth to cut the score to 6-4.

“He was either going to lose the lead in that inning or he was going win the game,” Ashbach said. “He had plenty left in the arm.”

Sandoval finished the final two innings for the victory. He finished with six strikeouts and gave up four runs on 10 hits

“It’s so fun to play another game,” Odekirk said of advancing. “I’m a senior, so the last game is going to suck. Keep going, keep moving, and make sure we get a couple more.”

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