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Tolman, Villines deliver for El Toro
It was an emphatic way to stop the razzing.
Mitchell Tolman’s El Toro teammates had been giving him a good-natured teasing for not hitting a home run this season. On Tuesday, in the Chargers’ most-important game of the season, Tolman hit a grand slam.
His swing provided more offense than El Toro pitcher Stephen Villines needed as the Chargers shut out Tesoro, 9-0, to clinch a share of the South Coast League championship.
El Toro is 8-3 in league with one league game remaining, at Tesoro on Thursday. Tesoro is 7-4 in league. If Tesoro beats El Toro on Thursday at El Toro, the teams are South Coast League co-champions, but El Toro would go to the playoffs as the league’s No. 1 representative and Tesoro would be No. 2.
Such designation is important. A league’s No. 1 team is guaranteed a first-round home game, and against another league’s No. 3 or No. 4 team. A No. 2 team, which Tesoro is likely to be, could be at home or on the road in the first round, and probably against another league’s No. 2 team.
CIF-Southern Section playoff brackets will be released and available at ocvarsity.com Monday afternoon. The playoffs begin with wild-card round games Tuesday.
The first game of an El Toro week of baseball this season like Tuesday’s usually has had Tyler Brashears on the mound for the Chargers this season and last season. Brashears, a senior right-hander who was All-Orange County last season and signed with UC Irvine, two weeks ago experienced soreness in his right arm and likely is done for the rest of this week and the playoffs. This year he is 5-1 with a 0.80 ERA.
Villines filled in and pitched a five-hitter. He walked seven and walked none, and improved to 5-1.
El Toro, 23-6 overall and ranked No. 5 in Orange County and No. 7 in CIF-SS Division 1, had a 3-0 lead going into the sixth inning. The Chargers in the inning scored six runs and sent eight batters to the plate, including the left-handed hitting Tolman who pulled a pitch over the right-field fence.
“Some of my teammates were giving me some trash because I hadn’t hit a home run this year,” Tolman said.
Villines, a junior right-hander with close to a sidearm delivery, had plenty of movement on his fastball Tuesday.
“Early in the game,” Tolman said, “(Villines) said he was feeling good. When he said that, that made me feel good.”
So did that grand slam.
In the Golden West League:
Westminster 15, Santa Ana 0: Tyler Mahle, who pitched a perfect game last week, threw a three-hitter and Dominic Pendergrass had four RBIs for the host Lions (14-9, 10-4).
In the Orange Coast League:
Calvary Chapel 21, Godinez 2: Patrick Cromwell and Michael Fuchs had four RBIs apiece for the visiting Eagles (23-2, 12-2), who clinched a share of the league title.
In the Sea View League:
Trabuco Hills 9, Mission Viejo 4: Kevin Wade drove in four runs for the host Mustangs (13-12, 7-4), who trail league-leading Mission Viejo by one game.
In the Sunset League:
No. 7 Los Alamitos 8, Edison 2: The host Griffins (19-7, 11-3) clinched a share of the league championship as Dan Austin had three RBIs.
In the Trinity League:
No. 1 Orange Lutheran 1, JSerra 0: Art Vidrio pitched a three-hitter for the host Lancers (20-4, 13-1) who clinched a share of the league championship.
No. 2 Mater Dei 5, Servite 0: Ty Moore pitched a shutout with 10 strikeouts and drove in two runs for the host Monarchs (20-5, 12-2).