Estancia ends drought

High School Baseball

Eagles win wild-card game to record first playoff victory in 19 years, as they edge Anaheim.

May 18, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza,
(Don Leach / Daily…)

ANAHEIM — Playing a high school baseball game under the lights is rare.

But that was the situation for Estancia Wednesday night and it shined in the unlikeliest of places.

The Eagles traveled to Anaheim and accomplished something they had not done in 19 years. The postseason drought is over for Estancia after it prevailed, 5-3, in a CIF Southern Section Division IV wild-card game at La Palma Park.

The last time the Eagles won in the playoffs, their current players were not even born. It took a new generation for Estancia to come out on top in the postseason.

The spotlight belongs to the players and coaching staff. Coach Matt Sorensen wore the biggest smile after leading the Eagles to the playoffs for the second straight season.

This is his first four-year class, and in the last two years, Estancia claimed an Orange Coast League title last season and now a playoff game.


Sorensen has his club back in the first round, where it started the postseason last year after the program won a league crown for the first time since 1991. The reward for the Eagles (14-12) is a game at defending champion Palm Desert (24-4).

One player yelled out, "Party!" There was not much time for Estancia to celebrate the victory.

The Eagles hit the road Thursday and plan to log 115 miles to top-seeded Palm Desert, more mileage this time around.

The distance to Anaheim was 19 miles. The number represented the same number of years since the Eagles' last playoff victory.

Helping Estancia get over the postseason hump were gifts from the Colonists (13-15) in the first inning. The first three batters reached base after Anaheim committed errors on routine plays.

Four errors by Anaheim allowed the Eagles to jump ahead, 4-0. Steven Macias and Brodie Pearce each knocked in a run with singles to right field.

That was all the run support Estancia needed to advance to the next round. It got dicey for the Eagles in the bottom of the third, sixth and seventh innings.

Andres Hernandez was there each time, getting Estancia out of danger. The junior threw five innings in relief, earning the win after allowing no earned runs, giving up just two hits and striking out four.

"He was the perfect kid for that situation," Sorensen said of Hernandez, who replaced starter Tyler De la Peña in the third inning.

Hernandez was cool in tough spots.

In the Colonists' final at-bat, Hernandez got the first out. Then he proceeded to give up consecutive singles to left field.

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