Sage breaks through

After getting situated, Lightning beat Windward to advance to the CIF quarterfinals for the first time in program history.

May 26, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

LOS ANGELES — The Sage Hill School baseball team has hit a roadblock before in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division VI playoffs.

When the Lightning made their third straight appearance in this round on the road, they hit another barrier before Tuesday's game started. Sage Hill arrived at Windward of Los Angeles and saw a construction truck parked near right field.

"They couldn't move it," Sage Hill Coach Andy Berglund said.

The game was moved to nearby Brentwood School. The start time was pushed back 75 minutes.

In Los Angeles during rush-hour traffic, a six-mile drive can last an hour. Side streets don't help much.

"That was a long bus trip," joked Berglund, who knew the ride home to Newport Coast wasn't going to get any better.


Berglund and the Lightning made sure they left Los Angeles with something to chat about while stuck in traffic. They had a lot to talk about after Sage Hill advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in the program's history after beating Windward, 3-1.

"It's going to be a good ride back," said Berglund after recalling the previous two somber trips home after getting eliminated in the second round. "I remember the ride back from Apple Valley Christian two years ago [after we lost, 2-1]. I remember the ride back from [Poly of] Pasadena last year [after we lost, 6-2].

"This is going to be one of those [bus rides] that we ride back and we do a little singing."

Berglund has a lot to hum about Sage Hill (19-5).

The third-year coach got five strong innings from senior Alex Jimenez, who allowed one run and three hits. Seniors Dusty Orrantia and Mo Kreitenberg each drove in runs with clutch hits in the sixth, allowing Jimenez to improve to 8-2.

Senior A.J. Wolfson closed it out for Sage Hill. He recorded three strikeouts in two shutout innings in relief.

Another player deserving praise was a youngster, Michael Yorita. The sophomore set the table, going three for four with two doubles and he scored the team's first run that tied the game at 1-1 in the third inning.

The multi-hit performance was Yorita's second straight in the postseason. Berglund and teammates asked the first-year starter how he's managing to pull it off.

Yorita just shrugged his shoulders.

"It's no different from any other game," Yorita said. "You're just playing baseball.

"We don't let the pressure get to us."

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