Enochs edges Davis baseball

It was only the second inning, but with a playoff berth on the line, it might have been the play of the game and the play of the season for Enochs High.

With the bases loaded and one out, trailing 1-0 to Davis and dominant ace Jake Sisco, Enochs produced a had-to-be-seen double play to stay in it.

That proved crucial, as the Eagles scratched out their runs one at a time before winning 4-3 on Matt Walsh's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.

The victory sends Enochs (15-11, 9-5) to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 1 playoffs, where it will join Modesto Metro Conference champ Beyer.

While Walsh's single triggered the Eagles' celebration at home plate, third baseman Chris Garcia's alert play in the second also received praise.

Davis (13-9, 7-7) tried a squeeze bunt to score the runner from third, but Kelly raced in and threw to catcher Mitch Kelly for the force at the plate. Garcia turned and saw the runner on second standing between the bases and raced back to his bag — and Kelly fired it down for a double play to end the inning.

"I haven't seen that before, a bunt going third to catcher to third," Enochs coach Matt Brown said. "We had walked a run in earlier that inning, and you don't want to fall too far behind with Sisco pitching."

Sisco brought a 9-2 record and 1.01 ERA into the game, allowing four earned runs in winning his last six starts.

Enochs' goal was to make contact and force the defense to make plays, a strategy that led to six Eagles getting hits.

Sisco had a season-low six strikeouts, and Brown thinks his Eagles can turn their last two wins into momentum.

"We beat two of the conference's best pitchers the last two games," said Brown, noting last week's win over Beyer's Kyle Crawford. "We're probably going to open the playoffs against a pitcher of the same caliber or better, so we've got to be confident we can put the ball in play.

"Having been to the playoffs last year, the kids know the sort of pitcher they'll see. They'll also be accustomed to the atmosphere. It's one game and you could be done."

Enochs opens the playoffs next Tuesday, facing defending South Sub-Section champ St. Mary's (20-6). Beyer opens next Wednesday vs. the Central California Conference runner-up, likely Merced.

The Division 1 playoffs are at the University of the Pacific, and the first round will be a single-elimination affair.

Enochs' Matt Boone was sharp through six innings — the second inning, bases-loaded walk aside — before getting in trouble in the seventh and leaving for Ty Galloway.

A walk and Frankie Alcala's single got things going, then Martin Limon's sacrifice fly tied it at 2. Alcala stole third and scored Adam Austin's single for a 3-2 lead.

Enochs rallied in the bottom of the seventh as Donnie Fairchilds singled to open the inning. He went to second on Christian Kahler's bunt, got to third on a fielder's choice and scored the tying run on a two-out passed ball.