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The Big Pine Warriors lived up to their names Friday afternoon with a 2-1 win over the Academy of Career and Exploration Eagles in round one of the CIF Division 7 baseball playoffs.
The Warriors take on the New Roads Jaguars on home field this afternoon. The Jags finished the season as Coastal League champions, advancing to round two with a 23-2 win over Public Safety Academy.
The Santa Monica school has an enrollment eight times that of Big Pine, but theyâ€™re not Warriors.
Big Pine will be fielding a team that won the Hi-Lo League championship with the bare minimum number of players. When one of the key Warriors was sidelined with injuries, the rest stepped up their game. This is a team that defines team work.
The ACE Eagles were a better team than their win/loss record indicates. They just werenâ€™t good enough to take down the Warriors.
With Tyler Amisone on the mound, the top of the Eaglesâ€™ lineup fell three up/three down. Center fielder Stoker Steinwand caught a pop fly for out one; Amisone struck out the second batter and a quick pass from short stop Jesse Chirrick to Micah Bacoch took out number three.
Big Pineâ€™s 2 runs came in the bottom of the first. With 2 outs, Su-Ma Davis turned a single into a double, wiggling out of a rundown.
Amisone walked and Bacoch hit a 2-RBI single.
As the score indicates, this was a game of defense. The second inning saw just six batters at the plate. Inning three, the only Eagle to see first made it on a hit-by-pitch. The only Warrior trip to first was on an Eagle error.
The Eagles brought in a designated runner for Marco Gonzalez, but that didnâ€™t give ACE what it needed. The DR was taken out on a steal attempt.
ACE got their solo run in the top of the fifth. With two runners on base, Eagle Grafton Derryberry stole his way home.
Big Pine shut down the brief Eagle drive with an out on a steal attempt and a final strikeout.
ACE did a good job keeping Warriors off base; Amisone did the same in the top of the sixth.
In the final inning, with two runners on base and 1 out, the Warriors executed a double play to end the game and send Big Pine on to round two.