After a long postgame meeting, Tyler Kollmann was walking back to the Templeton High baseball team’s dugout at Erb Field when he placed his hands to his face and shook his head.
He couldn’t believe what just happened.
The Eagles’ season was over.
Templeton entered the opening round of CIF-Southern Section Division 5 playoffs Friday with high hopes of making a deep run. But the Eagles were quickly eliminated, losing 8-3 to a Serrano team that produced consistent scoring all afternoon — including a five-run third inning.
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For the second consecutive year, the Eagles lost in the first round of the postseason. But they had quite an impressive run, one that included a share of the Los Padres League title with Lompoc.
And their final 18-5 record was only their second winning season since 2005.
“Two short years ago, we were 6-15 and we gave up so many games late,” Eagles second-year coach Brad Macomber said. “Last year, the seniors helped us move forward to a winning record. This group put together an 18-4 record (before Friday). They set the bar high for the younger guys. Now they have goals of winning the league title and not sharing it and winning a (playoff) game.”
They just wish this season didn’t end so abruptly.
Templeton led 2-1 heading into the top of the third inning. That was when Serrano — from Phelan — exploded for five runs on four hits and one error to take a 6-2 lead. The Diamondbacks (15-9) finished with 11 hits from six different batters. No. 3 hitter Jose Bueno had the most productive outing, going 3 for 4 with two RBI, two doubles and one run scored.
“This whole year,” Serrano coach Joe Heim said, “we’ve been an offensive team. I knew, given the chance, if we got some at-bats, good things were going to happen.”
The Eagles had a difficult time trying to get back into the game after opening the first inning with two runs. They scored on two errors and an RBI triple from Kollmann, whose deep shot to right field rolled to the fence.
Templeton added its third and final run in the fourth, when Tyrus Yamagata’s groundout scored Andy Garretson, who got on with a triple. After that, the Eagles struggled offensively. They also committed the same amount of errors as Serrano — three.
Serrano scored again in the fifth and sixth innings for the final tally.
“We didn’t put it together,” said Kollmann, who also started on the mound but left after three innings. He was one of four Templeton pitchers used. “We didn’t play our best game.”
Templeton lost for the second straight time on its own field.
On May 11, the Eagles lost 3-0 to Lompoc, missing the chance of capturing an outright league title. And when it was time to face Serrano, Macomber said playoff jitters might’ve played a factor in the loss.
“I commend my kids for fighting all the way to the end,” he said, “but it was disappointing for having what probably was our worst game of the year, as far as defensively. Well, everything, to be honest with you. I think it was nerves.”