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Quezada shuts out Vaqueros in Regional opener, 9-0

Elliott Reece pitched well enough to win in the So Cal Regional playoff opener, holding Cypress to an unearned run on seven hits over six innings. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Elliott Reece pitched well enough to win in the So Cal Regional playoff opener, holding Cypress to an unearned run on seven hits over six innings. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Andrew Quezada pitched shutout ball for eight innings on Friday and Spencer Hereford finished up as No. 11 Cypress blanked No. 6 SBCC 9-0 in a Southern Cal Regional baseball playoff opener at Pershing Park.

Quezada, a sophomore right-hander, limited the Vaqueros (23-17) to five hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Quezada, who signed with Cal State Fullerton, improved to 9-1. He's No. 2 in the state with a miniscule 1.00 ERA.

"He came as advertised," said SBCC coach Jeff Walker. "With a guy like that after he makes a three-hour bus ride, you have to jump on him early. We hit the ball hard but they were right at people. He settled in nicely and kept our offense in check."

Cypress (28-13) got two runners on in each of the first four innings. Vaquero starter Elliott Reece fanned the first two batters, then Brandon Alamo reached on an error by second baseman Shane Hersh. He went to third on a single by Garrett Calvert and scored an unearned run on an infield hit by shortstop Paul Gomez.

Santa Barbara loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh on a throwing error, a hit-by-pitch by Hersh and a walk to Joseph Hamilton. But Quezada got Reinhard Lautz to pop up to the first baseman, ending the threat and preserving the 1-0 lead.

The Chargers added to their advantage in the eighth when Tyler Smith walked, went to second on a fielder's choice, to third on a stolen base and scored on Chase Sebby's sacrifice fly to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.

Calvert and Gomez paced Cypress' 12-hit attack by going 2-4. Jake Holton had a double and a single for the Vaqueros, who were held to six hits.

Reece (3-2) pitched well enough to win, allowing an unearned run on seven hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked four. Six Vaqueros followed him to the mound. The seven Vaquero hurlers gave up nine runs (six earned) on 12 hits. They struck out nine but walked 10.

Things got away from the Vaqueros in the top of the ninth when Cypress scored seven runs on five hits, three walks, an error and two balks. Angel Ortiz had a two-out, two-run single and Elias Ledesma added a two-run, pinch-hit single to left to make it 7-0.

The Chargers sent 12 batters to the plate and the Vaqueros used five pitchers in the top of the ninth.

"That was just one guy after another," said Walker. "I thought we quit a little bit after they stretched it to 2-0. We brought in (Jonathan) Keller in to get the left-hander and he balked a runner to second base and missed on a 1-2 pitch to give up a hit. If doesn't balk the guy to second base, that would have been a double-play ball and we would've been out of the inning.

"It was a little disappointing late. We didn't execute like we usually do."

Walker noted that the biggest game in a best-of-3 series is Game 2.

"They threw their bullet today and we've got our No. 1 going tomorrow in Kyle Wade," Walker stated. "That's a good thing."

Game 2 in the best-of-3 series will be played on Saturday at SBCC at 11 a.m. with the Chargers as the designated home team. Game 3 will follow 30 minutes after Game 2, if necessary.