CIF PLAYOFFS: Bonita Edges Closer to Date at Dodger Stadium with latest 7-0 Win

May 27, 2011
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The Bearcat 9 drew a huge crowd.

The Bearcat 9 drew a huge crowd.

Bonita continued its march through the post-season with a convincing 7-0 quarterfinals win over San Gorgonio Spartans at Bonita High School on Friday afternoon.

Again, Bonita struck early, and with ace Justin Garza (13-0) and his microscopic ERA on the mound, fans would not have been blamed for running for the turnstiles early to get a jump on the three-day Memorial Day weekend.

In the bottom of the first, Matt Gelalich singled up the middle with one out, and from there, things unraveled quickly for Spartans pitcher Andy Crowley. After Crowley walked Robert Mier putting runners on first and second, K.C. Huth slammed a one-out double over the centerfielder’s head, scoring both Gelalich and Mier. Huth also scored after swiping third and coming home on the overthrow.

Bonita still wasn’t through. Crowley hit Thomas Castro and walked Mark Lindsay before Garza, aiding his own cause, spanked a single to score Castro. If there was any consolation for San Gorgonio, it was that Crowley, who entered the game, 8-1, struck out the side, but it took him nine batters to turn the trick.

In the bottom of the second, Bonita added two more runs, using a walk to Justin Rowe and a pair of singles from Gelalich and Huth to go up 6-0.

Bonita’s final run came in the bottom of the fourth after Gelalich singled for the third time in the game, and Mier knocked him home with a double. For the game, Gelalich scored three times and Huth collected three RBIs.

But again the big story was Garza, who surrendered just two hits in six innings of work before giving way to closer Brandon Murfett, who set down the Spartans in order in the top of the seventh. So far, Bonita has given up just one run in the playoffs, leaving head coach John Knott searching for new superlatives to describe the play of the Bearcats.

“It’s nice to get out to an early lead,” Knott said, acknowledging that jumping out to an early lead takes the pressure off his team and puts it on the opponent.

Closer Brandon Murfett closed the door on San Gorgonio.

Closer Brandon Murfett closed the door on San Gorgonio.

Bonita’s trip to the finals last year also is helping his team play with added poise, according to Knott, last year’s San Gabriel Valley Tribune Coach of the Year. “I think the guys aren’t as nervous about it,” Knott said. “They’ve kind of been there. They’ve played in big games. They’re excited about this opportunity.”

Bonita welcomed back Huth to the lineup. He sat out the Northwood game with a mild lower back strain. “He’s a kid who brings a lot of energy,” Knott said. “A lot of athleticism. He’s clutch. You just know he’s someone who wants to get it done.”

Huth’s first-inning double gave a healthy boost to the Bonita offense.

“I got a hold of it,” Huth said about his opening-inning double. “I saw him (the centerfielder) standing under right under it. I thought he was going to catch it, and it just kept carrying right over his head.”

That’s the way it’s been going for the Bearcats. The wind is blowing their way. And of course, it doesn’t hurt to have stellar pitching, defense, and coaching.

Huth thinks he and his teammates have found the formula to take them all the way. “We just got to go out and do what we did today, and not look back,” the senior said.

Indeed, Bonita is looking forward to playing Beckman on Tuesday, and should the Bearcats prevail, they’ll check into Dodger Stadium for the CIF-SS Div. 3 Finals on Thursday.


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