DELANO, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — On Tuesday, the No.13 seed East Blades (15-10-2) pulled off the upset, knocking off the No.1 seed Chavez Titans (16-11-1), 3-1, in the CIF Central Section Division 5 baseball semifinals.
"It feels fantastic," East Blades head coach Rob Chavez said. "It feels like a dream."
Both of these teams met back on February 18th, where the Titans dominated the Blades, 13-3. Fast forward three months later, and both of these teams are in a rematch against each other in the CIF Central Section Division 5 baseball semifinals.
In the top of the 1st inning, East got on the board first when Nathaniel Negrete hit a sacrifice ball into the outfield, bringing in Carlos Vela for the run to put the Blades up 1-0.
Bottom of the 3rd inning, Titans down 1-0, Manny Carrillo recorded a base hit, brought in Silverio Alonso for the RBI single to tie the game up 1-1. It was the same score after the top of the 7th. East's defense forced two outs with one on second, when Blades second baseman Carlo Vela made a diving catch to send the game into extra innings.
"I always thought that was going to be something that Carlos Vela was going to do at some point in his career," Rob Chavez said. "He saved it for the biggest moment of his life as far as the baseball field goes."
In the top of the 8th inning, East's TJ Santiago hit a deep drive to right center, recording the RBI double to regain the lead, 2-1. A few at-bats later, Jacob Ramos hits it deep left where the outfielder drops it, bringing in Santiago for the run to put the Blades up two runs. East's defense didn't allow any runs in the bottom of the 8th inning, pushing the Blades past the Titans 3-1, to advance to the section finals.
"I envisioned this, and here it is," Rob Chavez said.
East will face No. 2 Firebaugh for the Division 5 Central Section championship on Friday, May 26th at Valley Strong Ballpark in Visalia, California. Game time is scheduled for 4:00 pm.