Left-hander Scott Holcomb of El Dorado High School has made a habit of pitching well in playoff games. Last Friday in the first round of the Southern Section 4-A playoffs against North Torrance, he threw a two-hitter in the Golden Hawks' 4-1 victory.
And Friday, the transfer from Missouri flirted with a no-hitter for six innings before settling for a two-hit shutout as El Dorado defeated Camarillo, 3-0, in a quarterfinal game at Placentia.
The Scorpions' Jeremy Sumrow broke up the no-hitter with a single to lead off the seventh. Holcomb struck out 10 and walked two in improving his record to 12-0.
Ken Wagner, the Camarillo coach, was impressed with Holcomb.
"We didn't swing the bats, but we faced one of the best pitchers today," he said. "He pitched great and seemed to be always around the strike zone. El Dorado has a great chance to win it all."
The Golden Hawks (22-6), the No. 2 team from the Empire League, had only five hits but made the most of them. They scored single runs in the first, third and fifth innings.
Steve Gill led off the bottom of the first with a double off the fence in right-center field. Two batters later, second baseman Bret Boone doubled down the third-base line, scoring Gill for a 1-0 lead.
In the third, Gill led off with a towering home run to right. And in the fifth, Boone doubled home Shawn Blankenship.
Gill was 2 for 3 with two runs and Boone was 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
Boone, who suffered a hyperextended left elbow diving for a ball Tuesday in the Hawks' 7-0 victory over Bishop Amat in the second round, was pleased with his contributions.
"I haven't been hitting the ball well of late," he said. "I just tried to pick good pitches to hit and it worked."
The Scorpions' only real threat came in the seventh inning. But with two runners on, Holcomb induced Jason McCarthy to ground into a game-ending force play.
Holcomb wasn't disappointed in missing a no-hitter.
"You really need a lot of luck to throw a no-hitter," he said. "I felt confident today. . . . I'm happy we won."
Holcomb threw 88 pitches and was ahead on the count to all but two batters. He struck out the first five he faced with a good fastball and curve.
"When he gets that curveball over, he's tough," said Steve Gullotti, El Dorado coach. "He's such a competitor, that's what sets him apart."
Camarillo finished 18-10.