Vista Murrieta won Thursday’s CIF Southern Section round one playoff game in dramatic fashion, with a 6-5 walk-off victory over Hart, who took an early lead. The Indians scored one run when senior Brendan Henry singled with one out in the first inning, but would find themselves trailing through much of the game.
Hart evened things up at four in the top of the sixth inning when Cody Jeferis hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring one run, then went ahead when Cole Roederer scored on infield error by the Broncos.
Vista Murrieta found themselves down 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning when things started to work for the 2017 Southwestern League Champions. Jake Moberg drilled a line drive to outfield with one out. The setting of the story started falling into place when the next batter struck out, leaving Moberg at first. Drew Sims would pick up a clutch single to keep the game going with two outs as he and Moberg now stood on first and second.
Next up, senior outfielder Mason Campbell, who would battle through his at bat, ultimately getting hit by a pitch after fouling off quite a few balls throughout his 3-2 count.
The bases were now loaded with two outs, it was the bottom of the seventh and the crowd was going wild. It was indeed time for the Mighty Casey to be at Bat. In this case, Casey was being played by senior lefty, Brandon Luna, who had already gotten a hit that day.
In true storybook fashion, Luna took strike one looking, fouled off strike two and then drilled the ball to the outfield driving in two runs for the walkoff.
Senior lefty ace, Brandon Ross, started the game for Broncos. He tossed two innings, gave up two runs, three hits, and struck out two while Jake Moberg earned the win for Broncos. Bryce Collins started the game for Hart. He pitched six innings, surrendered four runs and six hits, struck out six and walked one, but it would be Henry that took the loss for the Indians.
Vista Murrieta (22-8) had nine hits in the game. Moberg, Joey Hodapp and Luna each collected multiple hits for the Broncos. Luna led the Broncos with two runs batted in and went 2-for-4 on the day.
The Broncos will face Corona next in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 baseball playoffs Tuesday, May 23. The Panthers are 21-9 and were the Big VIII Champions. Game time is set for 3:15 p.m.