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DIVISION II BASEBALL FINAL

Simi Valley Brings Home a 5-4 Victory

June 06, 2004|Dan Arritt

The Southern Section baseball playoffs ended much like they began for Simi Valley. With a bang.

The Pioneers won the program's first section title Saturday when Placentia El Dorado pinch-runner Casey Vidovich was thrown out at home on an attempted double steal, preserving a 5-4 victory in the Division II championship game at Dodger Stadium.

Dylan Gaughen, who hit the first pitch of the playoffs for a home run nearly three weeks ago, earned the save for Simi Valley (27-7), despite walking four batters in the seventh and allowing a run to score on a wild pitch.

Gaughen's fourth base on balls put runners on the corners with two out and the No. 8 hitter, senior shortstop Michael Olsen, at the plate. Because Olsen had struck out twice and walked, El Dorado Coach Steve Gullotti decided it was a good time to call for the double steal. He said junior catcher Bryan Anderson disrupted the play when he double pumped on his throw to shortstop Ben Orloff, causing Vidovich to break late.

"We worked on that play for 10 minutes yesterday," Gullotti said. "If it works, I'm a genius."

Anderson had two singles and two walks to help the Pioneers take a 5-2 lead heading into the seventh. Gaughen had thrown 13 1/3 innings of relief in Simi Valley's three previous playoff victories.

"My arm wasn't 100% but this team battled," Gaughen said.

Chris Taylor doubled, tripled and walked to lead the Golden Hawks (22-10).

-- Dan Arritt

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