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Camarillo Puts a Quick Finish to Frustration

Division I: Scorpions rout Crescenta Valley, 13-0, in five innings, ending three-year streak of first-round playoff losses.

May 20, 2000|STEVE HENSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CAMARILLO — Victory, like most everything, is in the eye of the beholder.

Camarillo High blasted Crescenta Valley, 13-0, in the first round of the Southern Section Division I baseball playoffs Friday, an outcome that was enjoyed by the Scorpions in various ways.

For seniors, a load was lifted off their shoulders. Camarillo lost first-round gut-wrenchers each of the last three years.

For three sophomores and freshman Delmon Young, it was merely one more eye-twinkling adventure in a storybook season.

For Coach Scott Cline, it was making certain his players did, indeed, appreciate the moment.

That's why he called timeout and went to the mound to talk to left-hander John Gonzalez with two out in the fifth and final inning of the 10-run, rule-shortened shutout. The same Gonzalez who lost in the playoffs last season.

"You've come full circle in a year," Cline told him. "Step back, take a breath and enjoy this right here."

Gonzalez and catcher Spencer Wyman, both seniors, broke into grins. Cline returned to the dugout, Gonzalez (9-2) retired the last batter on a groundout to sew up a three-hitter and Camarillo (23-6) celebrated its first playoff victory since 1996.

Young was among several offensive catalysts, hitting a double in the first inning, driving in three runs with a double in the second and knocking in another run with a single in the third.

Baseball is almost too easy for Young, 14, younger brother of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Dmitri Young. He has 44 hits and raised his average to .473.

Playoff pressure? Never heard of it.

"I approached it like any other game," said Young, who batted No. 3 in the lineup for the first time.

Designated hitter Jacob Medina tripled, doubled and drove in four runs, and Wyman, Brad Boyer and Davey Komatsu each doubled. Camarillo scored seven runs in the second and six in the third.

Defensively, the Scorpions were flawless, turning two double plays and not making an error. Gonzalez faced only 18 batters.

"We played a perfect game," Cline said. "It was fun for the kids. Every one of those losses the last three years was a close game where something funny happened."

He didn't mean ha-ha funny.

"We felt a lot of stress going into this game because of what happened the last three years," Gonzalez said. "This one felt good."

Mark McCauley smacked Gonzalez's first pitch for a double to lead off the game, but Crescenta Valley (16-9) did not hit another ball hard.

McCauley, a senior second baseman, batted .454 this season and finished his four-year career with 155 hits, which ranks No. 6 on the all-time Southern Section list. He batted .450 in his career.

Certainly, he counted on getting more than two plate appearances in his last game.

But Gonzalez wasn't giving in.

A 6-4-3 double play ended the second inning and Gonzalez started a 1-6-3 double play in the third.

Camarillo plays No. 3-seeded Bishop Amat, which advanced with an 11-1 victory over Schurr, in the second round Tuesday.

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