Eagles denied on road

High School Baseball

Estancia falls to Palm Desert, the top seed and defending champion, in CIF Division IV first round.

May 19, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza,

PALM DESERT — Twenty hours after the Estancia High baseball program was on a high it last experienced 19 years ago, the Eagles came back down to earth Thursday.

Tyler Rios said he was exhausted when he got off the bus at Palm Desert. Making a 115-mile trip after Estancia the night before won its first CIF Southern Section playoff game since 1992 took its toll.

A second postseason victory in Division IV was out of the picture.

The 2½-drive to Palm Desert lasted longer than the actual first-round game. The Eagles ran into starter Brooks Kriske and all they managed was one hit and one run, unearned.


The right-hander struck out nine to lead the defending champion Aztecs to a 4-1 victory. Kriske made it look easy for seven innings, mowing down the final batter.

The Eagles' second playoff game in as many days lasted 86 minutes. They found it hard to do much against Kriske.

"We were just a little bit overmatched," Estancia Coach Matt Sorensen said.

Kriske reminded Sorensen of another pitcher, Laguna Beach's Chris Paul, who dominated the Eagles (14-13) in Orange Coast League play this season. The difference between Paul and Kriske, Sorensen said, not much, maybe Paul's ball moves a little more.

Kriske's fastball sure went past swinging bats. Palm Desert Coach Darol Salazar called the complete game turned in by Kriske a typical one.

It is hard to believe Estancia took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second against Kriske.

"We were really excited about our 1-0 lead," Rios said.

The advantage disappeared in a hurry as the top-seeded Aztecs (25-4) scored four runs in the bottom half of the second.

All the scoring happened in one inning.

Kriske did not need much run support to improve to 11-1 on the season. The junior had to wait to take the mound at the start.

The game began 15 minutes behind schedule. When it was supposed to get underway, the Eagles took infield and looked good.

Then the real action began.

After Kriske retired the side in order in the top of the first inning on just seven pitches, it was Estancia's turn to play defense.

The leadoff hitter put the ball in play on the second pitch by Tyler De la Peña. A sure out in right field, but Ben Beck lost the fly ball in the sun and it dropped in for a single.

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