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Grizzlies maul Del Oro, gain advantage in postseason battle

By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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The name Young has become synonymous with big performances in playoff games for the Granite Bay High baseball team. As he brother Nick did a few years back, when as a junior he dominated Jesuit in his first postseason start, Braden Young was masterful in pitching the Grizzlies to a 13-2 win over Del Oro in game one of a best-of-three Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinal series. “I told Braden that he will hear a lot of comparisons to his brother on a day like today,” said Granite Bay pitching coach Dave Brown. ““He just blew through them. We told him to just go out there and throw strikes and he would be fine. He was outstanding.” Facing Del Oro for the fourth time this season, Granite Bay came out on top for the third time, this time in a game shortened to five innings by the 10-run mercy rule. While Young kept the Golden Eagles off balance all night long, Del Oro starter Cole Perez probably deserved a better fate. “Our guy did not pitch too badly,” said Del Oro coach Bret Lachemann. “We missed on four or five plays that we usually make.” The person who had the most difficult job at Sacramento City College’s Union Stadium may have been the official scorer, who was left with a number of tough calls between error and hit on balls that just seemed to evade the grasp of a Del Oro infielder. The Grizzlies took advantage of every early opportunity that Del Oro sent their way, building an advantage one tally at a time. “We manufactured some runs early,” said Granite Bay coach Pat Esposito. “They really whacked us up there when (Perez) pitched. Today we took advantage of those chances.” Granite Bay scored single runs in the first, second and third innings, with its leadoff batter aboard in each stanza. The Grizzlies went to work after two were out in the fourth, putting the game away with a three-spot. That rally included a hit batter, a single that could have been an out and a walk to set the table for the big blow, an Andrew Knapp triple up the alley in left-centerfield that chased home a pair of runs and put the Grizzlies up 6-0. Other than first baseman Trevor Thomas, who was 3-for-3 at the plate with two doubles, the other Golden Eagles had no answers for Young. The junior fanned six batters in the first three innings and used his pitches efficiently. Lachemann was hoping to avoid the 10-run situation, as he was looking to do more damage and force the Grizzlies to use some additional pitchers. That went by the wayside when Granite Bay tacked on seven more runs in the top of the fifth frame. “The biggest problem with the way the game went down is that we allowed them to save their pitching,” Lachemann said. “We didn’t get into their bullpen.” Granite Bay’s bats were alive, as its 12-hit attack included multi-hit games from Knapp, Lydell Moseby, Jake Marjama, Trevor Trinidad and Sam Flajole. A Josh Hilburn double and a triple by Travis Israel rounded out the hitting for the Grizzlies. Both coaches are expecting a much different type of contest today when the series concludes. For Del Oro, there is comfort in knowing that Mason Magleby will be on the bump, fresh off his no-hitter in the playoff-opening win over Oak Ridge. Granite Bay will counter with southpaw Tyler Bibbins, who pitched it past Rosemont in round one. “Tomorrow will be a different game,” Esposito said. “We need to focus, play our game and not worry about what they do.” The two clubs face off at 5 p.m. this afternoon at Sac City College. A Granite Bay win in that contest sends the Grizzlies on to Monday’s section final, but a Del Oro victory will force a decisive third game at 8 p.m. with the winner moving on. Ponderosa took the opener from Rocklin Monday in the other semifinal series, which will conclude Thursday night.