Central Valley Christian’s improbable sweep of Central Section top seeds in Division V baseball was denied Friday night by a pitcher with a bad arm.
It certainly didn’t appear that way for Chavez’s David Gil, whose two-hitter with eight strikeouts beat the seventh-seeded Cavaliers 2-0 for the school’s first section title in any sport, according to historian Bob Barnett.
“I pulled my biceps in the second inning,” said the right-hander, who’s part of the Delano-based school’s 11th senior class. “So, no, I wasn’t at my best. But I wasn’t going to come out.”
Chavez, which tied for the South Sequoia League title with Bakersfield Christian, managed only five hits and one earned run off CVC’s Caleb Flores, but Gil made it hold up as the Titans closed at 24-4-1.
The Cavaliers (13-18), who played against D-III and D-IV competition while placing last among six teams with a 4-11 record in the Central Sequoia League, had conquered second-seeded Rosamond 16-1 and No. 3 Sierra Pacific 2-1 in the quarterfinals and semis under first-year coach Graham Harrison.
After losing seven one-run games, including six in the CSL, they also opened the playoffs with a 14-13 victory over No. 10 Fresno Christian.
“All the while, even during those one-run losses, the kids kept believing, buying in and playing hard,” said Harrison, a 2003 Tulare graduate and former player at Fresno City College and Fresno Pacific. “That was key because eventually the ball started going our way and we got down (to playing competition) in our division. We made a nice run.”
Chavez scored on a walk, error and Steve Rodriguez’s groundout in the second inning. Then the Titans added another in the fifth on William Ruiz’s leadoff single, a misplayed Andrew Renteria fly to right-center that dropped for a double, and a line drive sacrifice by Julian Lopez that was caught on a diving catch by CVC center fielder Trenton Vander Veen.
A stinging sequence for the Cavs occurred in the second inning, when they failed to score after receiving a leadoff triple by Noah Flores and walk to Flores. Gil then struck out two and induced a groundout.