BAKERSFIELD, CA – The No. 11-seeded Cypress College baseball team (29-13, 11-10) pulled off the upset in their best-of-three CCCAA SoCal Regional Playoff Series against No. 6 Bakersfield (26-16, 15-5). The Chargers swept the Renegades two games to none, taking Friday's series opener 11-4, before clinching the series with an 11-8 victory on Saturday.
Cypress will travel to take on No. 2 El Camino (34-6, 17-5) in a best-of-three CCCAA Super Regional Series on Thursday, May 9, Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11 (If Needed). The Warriors bested the Chargers in their lone match-up this season at Cypress College, 6-3.
The Chargers dominated in Friday's series opener, jumping out to an early 5-0 lead after two innings. Eric Bigani (2-for-5, 3RBI) got things started with a 2 RBI single to center field in the top of the first. Mariano Ricciardi (1-for-5, 2RBI) added to their lead in the second with an RBI single up the middle, before Isaiah Stewart (2-for-4, 2 RBI) brought in the Chargers' fourth run on a sacrifice fly. Bigani gave the Chargers a 5-0 lead with an RBI double to left before the Renegades could retire the side.
Cypress piled on to their lead with another run in the fourth and four more runs in the fifth, highlighted by a bases-clearing double from Hayden Winters (4-for-5, 4RBI), to take a commanding 10-0 lead.
Chargers' starter, Eric Chavarria (W, 8-3), was lights out on the mound, allowing just 2 runs on 6 hits with 7 strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work. Jake Wilkerson and Colton Bulger would close out the game and secure the game one win for Cypress, 11-4.
Cypress managed to avoid a potential game three with a game two victory, picking up where they left off on Friday. This time Bakersfield scored the game's opening run in the top of the second, before the Chargers erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the inning.
Carson Letterman (1-for-4, RBI) got the scoring started for Cypress with an RBI single. Bobby Silvis (1-for-4, RBI) followed that up with an RBI double to right center field, before Ricciardi (3-for-4, 2RBI) drilled a 2 RBI single to center field. Jesse Lopez (2-for-4, 4RBI) capped off the inning with three more runs on a bases-clearing triple, giving Cypress a 7-1 lead.
Chargers' starting pitcher, Reid Sebby (W, 6-3), helped the Chargers maintain a comfortable lead through five innings. Sebby gave up 5 runs on 5 hits, while notching 5 strikeouts in 5.2 innings. The Renegades got hot in the top of the sixth, driving in five runs, cutting into the Charger lead, 9-6.
Cypress relievers, Raul Herrada and Cristian Lopez (Sv, 2), would close out the game on the mound for Cypress. Lopez earned his second save of the season after allowing 1 earned run on 2 hits with 4 strikeouts in 3.1 innings.
The Renegades were able to add one run in the seventh and another in the eighth, to make a 9-8 game. However, Cypress responded with two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to secure game two 11-8 and the series (2-0).
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