Cardinals soar in playoff opener

Lindsay’s Diego Jauregui runs the bases at home in a playoff game against Riverdale.(Kason Clark)

Lindsay baseball opens the postseason with a 7-0 win over the Riverdale Cowboys; Cardinals now advance to the quarterfinals of the Division VI Central Section Championships

LINDSAY – After capturing a share of the East Sequoia-Sequoia League title to wrap up the regular season, Lindsay baseball is now looking to build off of that and go on a run this postseason. This past Tuesday, the No. 5 seed Cardinals hosted the No. 12 seed Riverdale Cowboys in the opening game of the Division VI Central Section Championships.

In their first action of the playoffs, the Cardinals took control from the opening pitch and never looked back as they beat the Cowboys 7-0. While the Cardinals got their bats going, Lindsay head coach Brett Kendig believes their pitching and defense led them to victory on May 14.

“Whenever we have Johnathan Mosqueda on the mound, we feel pretty confident as a team,” Kendig said. “We had a really solid defense today. I thought everybody played well.”

On the mound, Mosqueda pitched 6.1 shutout innings for the Cardinals. While the Cowboys threatened at points throughout the game, Mosqueda and the defense made the big plays to keep Riverdale off the board.

“I was just throwing strikes and just working my locations,” Mosqueda said. “My defense has been helping me out and everything. They’re locked down every day, every game, always working hard and always helping me out.”

The Cardinals have now won four straight games stretching back to the end of the regular season. They improved their overall record to 17-10 and to 10-4 at home. In their most recent outing at home, the Cardinals took control early when Mosqueda gave them the lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning. 

Later in the second, the Cardinals continued to fly high and add onto the lead. J.J. Vasquez drove in a run with a single to right field and then Mosqueda followed that up with his second RBI of the game to push the lead to 3-0. In the third, Bryan Martinez singled right to drive in another score as the offense continued to roll.

“What I like about our bats is that they were deep in the count, some of them with two strikes, and we just kept battling,” Kendig said. “Our guys got secondary leads at second and we beat a couple throws home that could have been close.”

The Cardinals continued to pile up the runs in the fourth. After reaching third base, Anthony Mosqueda scored on a passed ball for the Cardinals. Alex Espinoza then drove in a pair of runs to push the Cardinal’s advantage to 7-0.

John Mosqueda continued to pitch well for the Cardinals deep into the game. However, the Cowboys loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh to give themselves a chance. That’s when relief pitcher Bailey Brown came through with the final couple outs to secure the shutout victory.

Lindsay’s Nate Lopez fields the ball in a playoff game at home against Riverdale. (Kason Clark)

With their win to open the playoffs, the Cardinals advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division VI Central Section Championships. As Lindsay looks to win again and advance to the semifinals, Kendig believes pitching will once again be key to victory for the Cardinals.

“We’re very confident that whoever we put on the mound can do the job,” Kendig said. “We’ll make sure Anthony Mosqueda will be on the mound to start and we’ll have Bailey Brown in the role of a reliever.”

Across the Central Valley this past Tuesday, several other Tulare County baseball teams opened the postseason. In the Division I Central Section Championships, No. 6 seed Redwood suffered a 15-7 home loss to No. 11 seed Clovis North and No. 15 seed Tulare Western lost in a 3-2 decision on the road against No. 2 seed Liberty.

In the Division III Central Section Championships, No. 16 seed El Diamante won on the road for a 2-0 upset over No. 1 seed Pioneer Valley. In the same bracket, No. 4 seed Porterville won, 7-0, over No. 13 seed Chowchilla, No. 3 seed Central Valley Christian survived for a 7-6 win over No. 14 seed Mt. Whitney and No. 11 seed Exeter went on the road for an 8-4 win over No. 6 seed Tehachapi.

In the Division IV Central Section Championships, No. 12 seed Monache advanced with a 12-10 win over No. 5 seed Selma and No. 3 seed Mission Hawk survived with a 1-0 victory over No. 14 seed Nipomo. No. 11 seed Golden West won, 3-1, on the road for an upset over No. 6 seed Highland. In the same Division VI bracket as Lindsay, No. 1 seed Woodlake took care of business with a 4-0 win over No. 16 seed Delano.

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