Arroyo Grande High’s baseball team scored six runs on 11 hits in its first-round playoff game, and that was more than enough for standout pitcher Kyle Brown.
Brown didn’t allow a hit against Burbank in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 game Friday until there were two outs in the fourth inning. He went on to pitch a complete-game four-hitter as the Eagles (19-6-3) won 6-1 at home.
Brown struck out eight, blowing his fastball by the Bulldogs (18-9), especially in the early innings, to help his team improve to 10-0-3 at home.
“My fastball was really working against them, so I didn’t really need to throw my curve or change that much,” Brown said. “I really wanted the shutout, but I was glad we won. We were focused on defense. I thought we were sharp today.”
At the plate, the Eagles got a key double from junior Tyler Auerbach in the third inning that hit the wall in right field, scoring two and giving Arroyo Grande a 4-0 lead off pitcher Angel Villagran.
“He was throwing a lot of offspeed, so I was trying to sit back and wait on his pitches,” Auerbach said. “He threw me a cut fastball. It felt good to get us going and give us some momentum and get the guys fired up.”
Chris Davidson went 3 for 4 with an RBI, and Garrett Ball and Paul Ormonde each went 2 for 3 as the Eagles steadily built their lead, tallying their sixth run on one of their patented plays with runners on first and third.
Davidson broke from first and the pitcher picked him off. While he was caught in a rundown, Ormonde broke from third toward home and scored after Davidson was tagged out.
With a nice balance of speed, power and pure hitting, the Eagles were able to get on base with bunt hits, including a drag bunt by Ormonde, who has successfully landed the ball down the third-base line throughout the season for bunt hits.
“He’s just so fast,” Arroyo Grande coach Brad Lachemann said. “Our guys were put in different situations, and they responded well. Some bunted for base hits, we got sacrifices down, and that’s a tribute to all the hard work they’ve put in this season. It’s fun to watch this team right now.”
The Eagles move on to face the winner of the game between Temecula Valley and Norwalk on Tuesday. Temecula Valley was the first-place team in the Southwestern League and Norwalk was fourth in the Suburban League, winning a wild-card game to face Temecula Valley.
The Eagles would have a coin flip to see if they’re away against Temecula Valley and they’d be on the road if they face Norwalk.
Senior Dylan Azevedo said an early lead helped his team to settle in and play comfortably against Burbank. Azevedo was 1 for 2 and was hit by a pitch.
“An early lead just relaxes you so you don’t have to stress,” Azevedo said.
Third baseman Garret Ball said the Eagles won a wild-card playoff game last year, and it’s nice to get the first-round win as they strive for a deeper run.
“It definitely feels good to get this one,” Ball said. “And it’s great that we’ve stayed undefeated at home.”