The baseball playoffs could not have started any better for Wilcox.
The Chargers built a quick cushion Thursday and did not have to overuse their pitching staff as they breezed into the quarterfinals of the Central Coast Section Division I playoffs with a 12-2, six-inning win over South San Francisco.
Pitchers Robert Gaylord and Santino Delgado combined to retire 15 of the 16 batters they faced, and Eric Mendonca had three hits, reached base five times and drove in four runs to lead Wilcox into a matchup Saturday against its league mate, Homestead.
"We got some runs early, and it let us play a little easier," Wilcox coach Paul Rosa said. "It was a good win for us."
Wilcox finished second behind Los Gatos in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division, sweeping Homestead along the way.
With a solid resume, the Chargers (22-8) assumed they would get in the inaugural Open Division. But they just missed out on the bracket, instead receiving the top seed in Division I.
"Even in the old format, we were always on the bubble," Rosa said. "We're kind of used to finding out where we're going to go at the last minute."
Runs could be minimal Saturday as the probable pitching matchup is Andrew Najeeb-Brush, whose seven wins include one over Homestead, against Drew Strotman, who has 0.54 ERA for the season.
"Their guy is really good," Rosa said. "He's one of the best pitchers in the section. I'm sure it'll be a tight game again."
Brush contributed to Wilcox's avalanche of offense Thursday, scoring twice and knocking in two runs with two singles.
Gaylord allowed a first-inning single and then retired the next six batters before handing over the ball to Delgado, who was just as effective.
"I just tried to throw strikes, tried to get them to put the ball in play," Delgado said.
Sequoia 5, Fremont 2: Kyle Cambron learned a lesson last year. He and the rest of the Sequoia team are the beneficiaries this season. Cambron pitched a five-hitter as the host Cherokees beat Fremont in a CCS Division I opener.
Cambron, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-hander, tried to throw it past hitters as a junior and went 4-4 with a 3.52 ERA. Not bad but nothing like this season. He won his seventh in a row Thursday, improving to 11-1 with a 1.20 ERA.
"Last year I tried going for strikeouts," he said. "I had two complete games all year. This was my eighth complete game in a row."
Sequoia (20-7-1) advances to play Christopher on Saturday at Sacred Heart Prep.
Los Altos 5, Willow Glen 4: Los Altos rallied from a 4-2 deficit to oust host Willow Glen in a Division I opening-round game. Willow Glen, which last season won the CCS Division II title, had scored three runs in the fourth before Los Altos stormed back with three in the sixth on Adam Spielman's triple, Patrick McColl's double and Duke Myers' sacrifice fly. Los Altos advances to play Westmont on Saturday.
Westmont 9, Milpitas 5: Westmont scored seven runs in the first two innings and held off the Trojans, who scored two in the fourth and three in the fifth. Mike Morbo had three hits and drove in two runs for Westmont.
Bay Area News Group's John Reid contributed to this report.