Baseball wins league, but loses in second round of CCS

May 30, 2018 — by Patrick Li and Michael Zhang

Following a disappointing 2017 season, the baseball team was able to make a turnaround and capture first place in the less competitive El Camino Division.

Because of this first-place finish, the team qualified for CCS and will return to the tougher De Anza division for the 2019 season.

In their first CCS game against Leigh High School on May 16, the Falcons were able to score three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning (of a seven-inning game) and hold on to the lead to win 3-2.

“That game was basically a pitcher’s duel, where both pitchers were not giving up hits at all,” said senior Nathan Peng, who picked up the victory after pitching the entire game for the Falcons.

In the top seventh Peng popped out one player and struck the next two out. Earlier, junior Charles Debling and seniors Chris Auches and Peng had scored  the team’s three runs.

On May 19, the Falcons lost their CCS game against Soledad 3-1. However, the team does believe that they could have won the game.

“[Soledad] was right around our level, maybe a tiny bit worse, but we just had unfortunate hits and we often would get a hit and just not follow it up,” Peng said.

Despite being eliminated from CCS, the team is proud of what they accomplished this season because it was a massive improvement from the previous year.

The team finished with a record of 18-8 and two-way star pitcher and catcher Peng won the Triple Crown, an award bestowed to players who lead the league in batting average, home runs and runs batted in.

He also led his team and the league in almost every pitching category, including ERA, complete games, and shutouts, with a batting average of .524, 12 home runs and 40 runs batted in. With Peng’s accomplishments as both a pitcher and position player, the UC Davis commit won the league MVP.

Last season the Falcons got last place in league and didn’t even make CCS. This year was a complete turnaround: They won league, made CCS and won the first game in the tournament.

Senior pitcher Chris Auches attributed this success to the environment of the team this year.

“This season has been a lot more fun and relaxed,” he said. “We’re a lot closer of a team this year.[But our coaches have been harping on us that we’re goofing off too much.”

The team hopes to carry the momentum from this season to the upper division next year.

“This year we played against people who were below our level, and the upper division has teams at or above our level, so the team will definitely need to work harder next year,” Peng said.