CAMARILLO — If James Melcher and Jason Kimble had been in Simi Valley High's lineup instead of Buena's, they might have had spectacular games instead of merely impressive ones.
Melcher, the Bulldog left fielder, hit two homers and Kimble, the first baseman, hit one. Each scored three runs but the rest of Buena's hitting paled in comparison to that of the Pioneers, who pounded 16 hits Thursday and turned a close game into a 17-7 rout in the opening round of the Camarillo tournament.
Simi Valley (12-2) will play Canyon in the semifinals today.
Buena (8-5), which had 11 hits, trailed, 6-5, entering the bottom of the fourth but the Pioneers took advantage of defensive mistakes to score six and five runs in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.
The Bulldogs committed four errors in those two innings and all but two runs off reliever J.C. Holt were unearned.
Seven Pioneers had two hits each and every starter but Aric Porro and Tim Nykoluk scored at least twice.
The offensive attack helped offset a sub-par pitching performance by Kary Kozlowski. In 3 1/3 innings, Kozlowski gave up three homers, including one to Melcher to open the game, and walked four. He gave up five earned runs.
"We were just hoping to get a few innings out of him," Simi Valley Coach Mike Scyphers said. "(His throwing arm) was a little tender and sore and he never (bounced back after the first inning)."
Kozlowski's teammates weren't worried. "We always seem to allow homers in every game," Nykoluk said. "And we always seem to recover."
The Pioneers didn't exactly use the long ball to blow open the game. Designated hitter Jeff Michael's fourth-inning triple and catcher Brian Kavanaugh's first-inning double were the only extra-base hits for Simi Valley.
"One of these days we were going to hit the ball really well, it was just (a matter of) when," Kavanaugh said. "But we always seem to come around enough at some point. It was a lot today,"
While Simi Valley was scoring runs in bunches, Scyphers brought closer Jeff Weaver in early to slow the Bulldogs. Weaver gave up only one hit and no runs in 1 2/3 innings and picked up his first win.
Not even the prospect of facing left-handed pitching fazed the Pioneers. Both starter Mark Stehle and Holt are left-handers.
"I actually got fooled by a pitch on my second time around, but we didn't seem to have any problems," Kavanaugh said.
Kimble's homer came after he was sent to first base after only three balls in the count. The mistake was corrected and Kimble hit the second pitch over the left-field fence.