The 2020-2021 school year, which was tainted by a worldwide pandemic, has been over for nearly three weeks, but three local high school teams find themselves still battling it out for statewide recognition. The CIF Southern Section playoffs took place over the last two weeks for local baseball and softball programs at the high school level and only a handful found themselves extending their season.
On the baseball field it was the Elsinore Tigers who made it the furthest in the postseason, advancing all the way to the Division 6 finals, where they fell to La Habra 8-3. In Divisions 1 through 3, all teams that advanced to the semifinals or further, were given a bid to the State Regional tournament, and of those that were in Divisions 4 through 7, those that made it to finals were also given a bid to extend their season for one more week.
As the CIF State Regional tournament got underway this week, No. 6 Elsinore defeated No. 3 Legacy 16-0 to advance in the Division 5 brackets. Two Tigers pitchers combined to throw the shutout as Logan Farley earned the victory lasting four innings, allowing one hit and zero runs while striking out three and walking zero. Emmerling threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen.
Elsinore collected 12 hits on the day. Isaac Martinez, Kaiyu Hasegawa, and Semaj Moore all managed multiple hits. Martinez led the Tigers with three hits and Josh McAninch went deep with the long ball in the second inning.
The Tigers moved on to play the Christian Patriots (27-4) Thursday, June 24, in the semifinals (only 3 rounds in the State Regionals). Christian, who took first place in San Diego’s City League, was on a 17-game win streak when they took on the Tigers. Elsinore fell 11-1 as Christian went on to the June 26 championship where La Habra took the regional title as well.
On the softball diamond two teams advanced to the State Regionals, while one local team opted to get their summer started early. In the Division 2 bracket, No. 6 Hemet defeated No. 3 Redondo Union 9-5 and moved on to play Oxnard (No. 7) Thursday, June 24, at the Diamond Valley fields in Hemet. Oxnard defeated the Lady Bulldogs 8-5.
Over in the Division 3 CIF State Regional brackets, No. 6 Orange Vista lost their first-round game to No. 3 Fowler, 5-2. The Lakeside Lancers, who were the only local team to win a CIF Southern Section title (Division 7), opted out to start their summer. Many girls from the team had already committed to play with their showcase/travel ball teams in out-of-state tournaments. This being the first time in history that games have been played this far into the summer, due to the late start caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, teams opting to not play was high on the radar for the CIF offices.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.