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COMMUNITY COLLEGE BASEBALL / SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PLAYOFFS

Win Moves Cypress Step Away From State

May 18, 1997|STEVE KRESAL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Darin Reintjes' effective slider helped Cypress slide by Riverside, 7-2, in a Southern California baseball playoff game Saturday at Rancho Santiago College.

Reintjes, a sophomore right-hander, pitched an eight-hitter as the Chargers moved to just a victory away from reaching the state tournament for the third time in four years. Reintjes struck out seven and walked none.

Cypress (37-10-1) plays Los Angeles Harbor at 11 a.m. today at Rancho Santiago.

L.A. Harbor, which would have to beat Cypress twice to advance, eliminated Rancho Santiago, 6-4, and Riverside, 18-10, on Saturday.

Cypress Coach Scott Pickler said he wasn't sure which pitcher he would start today.

He didn't tell Reintjes he was going to start until about two hours before Saturday's game. Reintjes said he would have liked a little more advance notice, but it didn't seem to bother him much as he used his slider to get ahead of most hitters.

It was a close game until the eighth, when Cypress rallied for five runs to take a 7-2 lead. But Reintjes (5-0) said the importance and the closeness of the game worked to his advantage.

"It kept me more focused," he said. "I was pretty relaxed because I'm pretty confident of my offense especially late in the game."

Cypress scored three runs in the seventh and beat L.A. Harbor, 6-3, Friday. This time the rally came an inning later but was started by the same player--leadoff hitter Scott Daeley.

Daeley singled up the middle in the eighth and Craig Kuzmic walked. Greg Jacobs was then asked to bunt but failed, which ended up working out just fine.

The runners each moved up on a wild pitch and Jacobs lined a double to the gap in right-center to put Cypress ahead, 4-2.

"I was missing fastballs all day," Jacobs said. "I thought that they would try to bust me inside again and I was right."

Two innings later, Jacobs doubled off the fence in center field and scored when Brian Flanagan singled on a 3-and-0 pitch.

Cypress went ahead, 5-2, when Junior Rodriguez singled to right on a hit and run in the eighth. "We've played aggressive all year," Pickler said. "There's no reason to stop now."

Matt Williams brought home a run with a groundout and Nahum Renteria doubled in the final run as Cypress took a 7-2 lead.

Bobby Kielty had a triple and scored on a groundout in the fourth as Riverside tied it, 1-1. Jaeme Leal doubled and scored on a single by Jason Clements in the seventh that tied it, 2-2, for Riverside.

Clements then tried to steal second but was thrown out by catcher Kuzmic to end the seventh.

Kuzmic also had a ninth-inning double that extended his hitting streak to 19 games.

In an elimination game:

L.A. Harbor 6, Rancho Santiago 4--Rancho Santiago, the top-seeded team in Southern California, scored three times in the first but couldn't hold the lead.

The loss ended the season for Rancho Santiago (40-7-1), which had won three of the last four state titles and lost in the title game the other year. Rancho Santiago also won the Orange Empire Conference this season and Cypress and Saddleback tied for second.

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