SAN BRUNO -- Capuchino clinched a spot in the Central Coast Section baseball playoffs with a 1-0 win in nine innings Thursday over Aragon.
"That was a great ball game,'' Capuchino coach Matt Wilson said. "I'm really proud of my team, how they scrapped and won that game.''
The week started with four teams tied for first in the Peninsula Athletic League's Ocean Division. Only two teams from that division get automatic berths into the CCS playoffs, so there was plenty of drama in regard to the outcome of the final two league games. Now with the regular season having concluded, Capuchino and Sequoia will get the Ocean's automatic berths. Sequoia (19-6-1, 10-4) beat Woodside 3-0 and finish tied with Capuchino (20-7, 10-4) for first place. Hillsdale (16-8. 9-5), which entered play Thursday part of a three-way tie for first place, lost to Mills 5-4. So the Knights must wait for the CCS seeding meeting to find out whether they will be included in the 48-team tournament.
Having gone 3-0 against the PAL's Bay Division and with non-league wins over Wilcox and Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hillsdale would appear to have a more than decent chance of being included. Not so for Aragon, which is 13-11-1 and 8-6 after a pair of one-run losses to Capuchino.
Capuchino's Rory McDaid and Aragon's Chad Franquez hooked up in a terrific pitcher's duel, both pitching eight shutout innings. Antonio Martinucci relieved McDaid and pitched a scoreless top of the ninth for Capuchino. Franquez retired the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth before giving up a double and hitting a batter. Casey Cheng came on in relief at that point and induced a ground ball to shortstop, but the throw to first skipped by the first baseman and the runner from second scored.
"It was tough for anyone to lose that game,'' Wilson said. "I have a lot of respect for (Franquez). He did a good job of pitching to contact and keeping us off balance.''
In Sequoia's win, Cameron Greenough pitched the shutout, Sequoia's eighth of the season, and also knocked in two runs.