CCS baseball: Valley Christian looks right in comfort zone, routs Aptos in opening round

SAN JOSE — Valley Christian doesn’t have the sparkling record that some of its teams have had through the years and might not play another home game the rest of the playoffs because of it.

But if the opening round were an indication, Valley Christian shouldn’t be counted out in its quest for a fourth consecutive championship in the Central Coast Section’s top division.

Saturday, the Warriors, seeded third in the eight-team Division I bracket, rode home runs by Easton Kreshel and Jonathan Cymrot and good enough pitching to topple Aptos 10-1.

Valley hasn’t lost a CCS playoff game since 2016, a streak that reached 10 games Saturday.

“I thought we did a good job today,” coach John Diatte said. “We knew there wasn’t going to be a league champion in our league, Our tournament was going to be for seeding. So this is the one thing you’re playing for something. Everybody else is, too, and there are some great teams in our bracket.

“There’s a lot of senior-laden teams, guys that have been looking forward to something like this. Next week is going to be a lot of fun.”

Next up for Valley (22-9) is a semifinal Wednesday at second-seeded Palo Alto, which rolled past St. Francis 8-0 on Saturday. The winner will play top seed Archbishop Mitty or No. 5 seed Los Gatos in the final next Saturday.

There might not have been an official champion in the West Catholic Athletic League, as is the case in many leagues during this pandemic school year, but Mitty clearly celebrated after beating Valley in the league tournament final on June 3.

Diatte said his team needed the practice after the league tournament to heal up for CCS.

“We needed time to regroup,” Diatte said. “We had some sore bodies. That week was good for us.”

Valley Christian scored four runs in the second inning Saturday, highlighted by Kreshel’s  two-run homer to left. The Warriors added two more runs in each of the next three innings to put the score out of reach.

Cymrot hit his home run in the fourth.

“It’s Valley’s time,” said Cymrot, who had two hits and scored twice. “We prepare all season for this. It’s the most fun, it’s playoff time. All our players are really clutch players. It’s a really fun team to be around.”

Valley also got two hits and two RBIs from Louis Zulaica.

Aptos finished 15-2.

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Author: Darren Sabedra

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