Edison's Dale Thayer threw 137 pitches to get the Chargers past Villa Park, 4-2, in the first round of the Southern Section Division II baseball playoffs Friday at Villa Park.
Edison (19-8), runner-up in the Sunset League, knocked out the Century League co-champions because of Thayer's gritty performance, a first-inning home run by catcher Tony Cappuccilli and a seventh-inning sacrifice fly by Ryan Stemmer. The Chargers move to Tuesday's second round against Chino Don Lugo. Villa Park finished 16-10.
Despite issuing seven walks and never having a 1-2-3 inning, Thayer (8-3) gave up only three hits. He helped his own cause by picking off two Villa Park runners and striking out eight, including Spartan designated hitter Spencer Grace to end the game.
Last season, Edison lost to El Segundo in the second round.
"The players from last year remembered that playoff loss, and it has [inspired] us this year," said Thayer, a senior right-hander. "I knew I threw a lot of pitches today, but I planned to pitch the whole game. It was mine to win."
Cappuccilli staked Edison to a 3-0 lead in the first when he drove a 2-0 changeup from Spartan junior Brandon Averill (6-1) over the center field fence with two on. It was Cappuccilli's 14th homer, keeping him tied with El Toro's Josue Lopez for the county lead.
"I didn't think we'd get many more runs," Cappuccilli said. "Everyone I talked to said Averill was a tough pitcher, and he was."
In other Division II games:
Cypress 4, University 3--Cypress scored the game-winner on an error in the top of the seventh. Travis Ingle (9-3) struck out five in the five-hitter for the Centurions (17-10).
Katella 10, Hesperia Sultana 0 (6)--Mike Martinez (12-0) pitched a five-hitter, struck out seven and hit a two-run home run. Katella (21-6) next plays Riverside Poly.
Sunny Hills 6, Manhattan Beach Mira Costa 2--Mitchell Martindale hit a two-run home run in the fifth for host Sunny Hills (20-7). Nathan Hochgesang (5-2) was the winning pitcher. The Lancers will face Simi Valley Royal in the second round.