Sun Valley Magnet Pioneers fall to Castaic Coyotes in Round 1 of CIF SoCal Baseball Championship

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The Sun Valley Magnet Pioneers season ends at the hands of the Castaic Coyotes in the first round of the CIF socal baseball championship tournament.

The eight seed Pioneers traveled up to Castaic in Santa Clarita Valley to take on the first seed Coyotes. The Pioneers came into the contest off a loss to Chavez in the Division 3 City Section Championship, but had a quick turnaround when the program accepted the opportunity to play in the Southern California Regional of the CIF state tournament with the chance to take on the Southern Section Division 6 winner Castaic. The Coyotes became champions of the sixth division when Castaic defeated Hesperia Christian to claim the title; it marked the first ever CIF section title for the program.

The Coyotes handled the Pioneers without any difficulty throughout the game as the Castaic offense drove in nine runs in the first inning that began with an Aaron Gonzalez double to start the scoring. As the offense was slugging, the Coyotes would also go on to have incredible pitching that was highlighted by Kyler Freude who started the game on the bump. Freude would go on to generate a 1-2-3 inning in the first and second innings along with striking out 4. For Freude that would mark his statline for the day, as he was taken out of the game due to the large early lead the Coyotes held, he would then be replaced with Brayden Lester.

In the bottom of the second, the Pioneers pitching was unable to slow down the Coyotes offense. Castaic would drop sixteen runs off Pioneers pitchers, Albert Torres Dionisiono and Alexis Reyes. In the third and fourth inning Castaic pitchers, Nate Berru and Tyler Collins would each pitch one inning and do so without allowing a single hit. After the conclusion of the top of the fifth inning, the game would be called due to mercy rules. The Coyotes would go on to not only win the game with a final score of 27-0, but also no-hit Sun Valley due to the pitching of Freude, Lester, Berru, and Collins who would all combine for nine strikeouts in the game. First baseman Tyler Hawn went 3 for 3 and drove in four runs, while the Castaic offense as a whole tallied 24 hits with nine different Coyote players all having multiple hits. With the win the Coyotes advance to the regional semifinals and are set to host Fillmore on June 1st at Castaic.

After the game Coyotes Alejandro Flores spoke regarding the big win and the mindset of succeeding in the CIF socal tournament, “The game plan was to make the valley proud as always and the hitting was on point with our pitchers throwing strikes.” He went on to add how the chemistry in the locker room helped played a factor to the win and success they have had on the field, “Were all behind each other now matter what we do and we can have a bad day and we pick each other up and even outside of baseball were all hanging out with each other and that can translate to how we play our game.”

For Sun Valley, coach Ricardo Loredo spoke about the loss for the team but mentioned how the team played this season with competition they faced and how games like today and how the program can grow in the future, “On our team it's such a small school we only have three guys who have ever played baseball before so the fact we made it this far I think its a positive.” He went on to add, “A loss is a loss. We played a great team and it shows how far we need to get to the mountaintop. We did really well this year and also the first anyone from our school has played in the state tournament.”

Coach Loredo spoke about the commitment of the team and how the future is bright for Sun Valley, “In this game it comes down to our players commitment, we had so much inexperience getting to the big moment and that was the victory in itself being here, we don't have a field and we have practice in a middle school size field and take batting practice on the basketball courts so coming here a lot of kids were in awe of people who attend here so having the choice of not coming here but i think it was better to come and play a team like this and lose then be afraid and not do that because that the altitude the team needs to move forward.” He went on add in his closing remarks, “The accomplishments we had even losing today, we go out with our heads held up high, we competed to the best of our ability and now look go back thinking how we get back to this point and were grateful for the host and the opportunity to be here and shows how far we need to go because our experience was totally worth it and we made history and if we continue to make history we'll be happy.”

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