Sage Hill School and Chatsworth Sierra Canyon met for the second time in three years in the CIF Southern Section Division 6 baseball playoffs.
A couple of years ago, Parker Reposa took the mound on the road in the first round for the Lightning. He went six strong innings, before Sage Hill lost, 2-1, in extra innings.
Reposa, a junior now, earned the nod for the second meeting against Sierra Canyon, coming in a second-round game at home on Tuesday. Sage Hill could've used another quality start from Reposa, as well as some offense.
Third-seeded Sierra Canyon knocked the right-hander out in the first inning, scoring four runs, more than enough to beat the Lightning, 7-0, and advance to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal appearance is the first for Sierra Canyon since 2012, the same year it eliminated the Lightning from the postseason.
Sage Hill (15-7) faced Jackson Ramey, another quality pitcher from Sierra Canyon in the playoffs. One run is all Sage Hill has to show against the Trailblazers in 17 playoff innings.
Ramey only worked seven innings, compared to Sean Adler's 10-inning stint two years ago. Seven is all Ramey, a senior right-hander, needed. He didn't strike out 14 as Alder, a southpaw who's at USC now, did against the Lightning, but Ramey blanked the Lightning, tossing a three-hitter with five strikeouts.
"We just couldn't hit him," Sage Hill Coach Dominic Campeau said of Ramey, who threw 77 pitches, 49 for strikes. "We just couldn't figure him out."
Ramey wasn't overpowering, yet he spotted his fastball and kept hitters off balance. Ramey improved to 12-2 and earned his 25th career high school victory.
Right away, the Trailblazers (26-5) gave him run support. Ramey helped himself, reaching base four times, three via walks and once with a double. The big hit came in the first. Ramey led off, and after seeing the first two pitches go for strikes, he deposited the third pitch, a hanging curveball, into the gap in left-center field.
The Trailblazers went on to load the bases, and with no one out, Reposa appeared to get out of serious trouble. He induced a grounder to second baseman Colby Bock, who flipped the ball to shortstop Kellen Ochi to turn a double play. Ramey scored, and he could've been the lone run Reposa gave up in the first. But Reposa walked his second batter in the inning, putting runners on the corners for Zach Tavelman.
Two pitches later, Tavelman hit a ball toward right-center field, where center fielder Jack Pelc gave chase. Pelc, starting in place of Adam Ellingson, who was out of the country on a trip, misjudged the ball. The freshman came in a bit, before he jumped to make the catch, only to have the ball go over his glove. Tavelman ended up with a two-run double, and Wes Wright singled in Tavelman to make it a 4-0 game.
"I told you we always have one [rough inning]," Campeau said. "That one just set the tone."
Campeau took Reposa (6-2) out and brought in Brett Super to get the last out in the first inning. This isn't how Campeau planned to use Super again.
Super went the distance in Sage Hill's 4-2 win in the first round at Sherman Oaks Buckley on Thursday. The freshman lifted Sage Hill to the second round for the first time in four years. His job now was to stop the damage, and except for the second inning, when he allowed Jake Fried to single in a run, Super pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings.
Super also recorded one of Sage Hill's three hits. In the sixth, he ripped a shot over the right fielder for a one-out stand-up double. Super gave the Lightning a runner in scoring position for the first time. Sage Hill had two runners on after Ramey plunked Ochi, making it the second straight playoff game Ochi took one for the team.
Nothing came of the threat. Ramey froze pinch-hitter Christopher Goul, striking him out looking on an off-speed pitch. He then got Reposa to fly out to right field to end the inning. The Trailblazers were on their way to getting past Sage Hill in the playoffs again, while Campeau looked toward the future after his first season in charge of the Lightning.
"We're going to start summer ball in a couple of weeks," said Campeau, who loses four senior starters, Ellingson, third baseman Harrison Rhee, Bock and Brett Dunlavey, who started in left field in his final game in which he doubled in his last at-bat. "I told them [baseball is] never over anymore. We just take breaks. Now we got 2 1/2 weeks off and we get right back into it."
CIF Southern Section Division 6
Sierra Canyon 6, Sage Hill 0
SCORE BY INNINGS
Sierra 410 000 2 – 7 10 0
Sage 000 000 0 – 0 3 0
Ramey and Croft; Reposa, Super (1), Ochi (7) and Bush. W – Ramey, 12-2. L – Reposa, 6-2. 2B – Ramey (SC), Tavelman (SC), Super (SH), Dunlavey (SH).