HEMET ---- Tahquitz High's championship dreams unraveled in a single inning Tuesday afternoon.
Woodcrest Christian rallied to score four runs in the fifth inning of a 6-3 win over Tahquitz in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division V baseball playoffs.
"I'm proud of the job that we did this season," Tahquitz coach Ron Savage said. "I think that a lot of people might have written us off after we drew Cathedral in the quarterfinals. I have to tip my hat to Woodcrest Christian. They found a way to get it done today."
The Titans (19-10) looked fairly solid for six innings, and even took the lead in the bottom of the first when, with two outs, Tim Borst smashed a 2-1 pitch high to left and let the wind carry it out of the park.
"Honestly, I didn't think it was going over," Borst said. "I wasn't really that pleased with the swing. It's a little bit of that home-field advantage. We know that wind blows out real strong to left. Luckily, I got enough of it to get out."
Savage echoed Borst's thoughts.
"No homer in this field ever surprises me," Savage said. "But I will say, of all the home runs I have seen go over the fence, I didn't know if that was going to be one. That's typical (Borst), though. He finds a way to do something in a big moment."
Borst went 1-for-3 at the plate while also pitching 2 2/3 innings of shutout relief.
Tahquitz starting pitcher Jessie Garcia looked solid for the first four innings, allowing only a pair of runs and striking out six batters before having his outing halted in the fifth. Garcia retired the inning's first batter, but then proceeded to walk three batters and allow two singles before exiting.
"I give Garcia a lot of credit," Savage said. "This is a kid who came in midway through the season after rehabbing an injury he suffered in February and is only in his fourth start. We were playing in a situation where we needed him to go five innings today, and we just weren't able to get it. He has a really bright future."
Borst came in to relieve Garcia with the bases loaded and struck out the first batter he faced before allowing a two-run single to left field.
"During my first coaching job in Merced, the head coach of the team used to talk a lot about crooked numbers," Savage said. "His motto was that if you can put one of those numbers up in an inning, then it's usually more than a team can score in a game. That's what they did to us in the fifth. It's all it took. We couldn't overcome it."