Reedley, Dinuba advance in D-III baseball playoffs

Pirates and Emperors collect road upsets, Orange Cove prevails in D-VI opener while three other MVT region teams fall in first round

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Jon Earnest
Published May 15, 2024  • 
11:00 am

FRESNO – The Reedley High Pirates and Dinuba High Emperors stepped up to capture road victories Tuesday afternoon in the opening round of the Central Section Division IV baseball playoffs.

The No. 9 Reedley’s 6-2 win at No. 8 Hoover in Fresno and No. 13 Dinuba’s 9-1 triumph at No. 4 Sanger West were two of three opening round wins by Mid Valley Times region teams. The No. 8 Orange Cove also advanced in Division VI with a home win.

Meanwhile, the season ended for Sanger High (D-I) and Immanuel (D-III) in addition to Sanger West with opening round road losses.

Mason Cisneros starred on the mound and at the plate for Reedley (11-16), which advances to play at top-seeded Liberty-Madera Ranchos at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16. The senior righthander pitched a five-hit complete game with six strikeouts, and also went 2-for-2 with a triple, RBI and two runs scored.

“We pretty much talked all week that this is a new season,” coach Russ Sauceda said of his squad. “Our records are 0-0, our (earned run averages) our zero, our batting averages are zero; time to refresh and restart.”

The Pirates jumped ahead with three runs in the second and broke it open with three more in the fifth. Senior Donovan Mariscal doubled and drove in two runs while Ely Garcia tripled and had an RBI. Cole Betancourt (2-for-2) also collected a triple and scored twice.

Liberty routed Reedley by an 11-3 score at the Fresno Easter Classic on March 25, but Sauceda is looking forward to the rematch.

“They took it to us a bit, but our guys don’t have such a short memory,” he said.

Dinuba 9, Sanger West 1

At Sanger West varsity diamond, the Emperors (10-19) broke the game open with four runs in the fourth inning to take a 7-0 lead and coasted from there. Junior pitcher Austin Kelly struck out six and allowed just four hits and an unearned run in six innings of work while junior Anthony Pompa went 3-for-4 with three doubles and two RBI.

Dinuba advances to play at No. 12 Monache on Thursday, May 16. The Marauders (13-15-1) knocked off No. 5 seed Selma.

Victor Valdez went 2-for-3 while George Cardenas scored the lone run for Sanger West, which finished its second varsity season with a 19-11 record and tied for second place in the North Yosemite League.

Clovis West 8, Sanger 4

At Fresno, the No. 16 Apaches (15-14) rallied from an 8-0 deficit after five innings but fell short against the top-seeded Eagles in the school’s first playoff game in D-1 since 2006.

Joe Morales had two hits including a double and pitched the distance against a strong CW lineup while freshmen Adam Calhoun and Noah Aveytia had singles during the three-run seventh. The Apaches were denied a chance at an earlier scoring threat when a player was called out after lining a base hit for apparently wearing the wrong uniform number.

“We were honored to represent Sanger in the best division in the section,” Coach David Cuellar said “I’m extremely proud of our players and coaches; we won some big games and lost some tough games. But we never stopped working for five months straight to finish strong.”

Orange Cove 5, Corcoran 1

Tuesday at Orange Cove, the East Sequoia League champion on No. 8 seed Titans (18-8) scored three runs in the sixth to pull away from the visiting No. 9 Panthers in D-VI action. Senior Alan Hernandez struck out eight and scattered four hits in a complete game performance.

Sophomore Brandon Gonzalez and junior Roman Ocejo each drove in two runs for Orange Cove, which travels to top seed Woodlake High for a 4:30 p.m. quarterfinal matchup on Thursday, May 16.

Edison 9, Immanuel 6

At Fresno, the Eagles’ 17-10 season came to an end with a D-III first round loss to the Tigers (12-16). Immanuel jumped out fast with a five-run first inning, but Edison broke a 6-6 tie with a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth.

Senior Nic Coleman went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI, but was touched for six runs in three innings of pitching work. Reliever Wally Pena took the loss and sophomore Julian Ornelas added two hits for Immanuel, which captured the Tri County Conference Sequoia Division title.

Jon Earnest
Reporter