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Team to beat: Buhach firing on all cylinders in playoffs

STOCKTON -- Buhach Colony baseball coach Wayne Fitzgerald was impressed with his own team.

And why not?

Right-hander Dylan Floro pitched five solid innings and appeared to have everything in control from the opening pitch.

The defense was flawless -- even brilliant at times -- behind Floro, including two sparkling plays in centerfield by Chris Kelly.

Then there was the offense, which banged out 12 hits as BC (24-4) showed why it's the favorite in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South playoffs with an 11-2 drubbing of Lodi Thursday night at the University of the Pacific.

So how does Fitzgerald feel about his team's chances if they can equal Thursday's effort?

"We'll play anybody," he said. "We played well, very well. Especially given that there's a million different things kids could be thinking about.

"It's hot. It's this or that. They prepared hard all week and today was no exception."

Lodi (17-10-1) never had a chance.

"When we were out playing catch, I started thinking this is a big game because if we lose we're done," shortstop Markus Melgosa said.

"That's when you start getting the little butterflies. Once we took our (infield practice), I was ready to go."

Melgosa led the hit parade with a 4-for-4 performance at the plate.

The BC lead-off hitter scored three runs and knocked in a pair.

Brett Mooneyham crushed a home run over the right-field fence to lead off the third inning and put BC ahead 5-0.

"We've never felt that our offense played up to its potential this year," Mooneyham said.

"So today was pretty good. It's kind of carried over from the last Atwater game."

Justin Koehler and Connor Oldcorn each had a pair of hits.

Lodi just looked overmatched from the start.

"It's hard to tell if they just had a bad game," said Fitzgerald, whose team will face Stockton St. Mary's on Monday at 7 p.m.

"You have to tip your cap because it's not like we threw some bottom-of-the-barrel guy at them.

"We played defense and we swung the bats well."

Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at sjansen@mercedsun-star.com or via phone at 385-2462.

Division I South Playoffs:

BUHACH COLONY 11

LODI 2

at UOP's Klein Family Field

LODI 000 200 0 -- 2 4 5

BUHACH COLONY 311 321 X -- 11 12 0

Mike Toon, Josh Niemeyer (6), Geeze Borges (6) and Matt Clark; Dylan Floro, Garrett Adams (6), Justin Koehler (7) and Joe Medeiros, Zach Cartwright (7). WP -- Floro. LP -- Toon.

LODI --Borges 2-3 (2B, Run), Conor Peterson (2 RBI).

BUHACH COLONY --Markus Melgosa 4-4 (2B, 3 Runs, 2 RBI), Koehler 2-3 (RBI), Brett Mooneyham 2-3 (HR, 2 RBI), Medeiros (2 RBI), Connor Oldcorn 2-2 (2B, 3 Runs).

Records: Lodi 17-10-1; Buhach Colony 24-4.

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