In the biggest, most pressure-packed game of the season, Rancho Bernardo High’s best players came up big.
Senior right-hander Matt Osborne threw a complete-game eight-hitter, second baseman Gosuke Katoh walked and scored three times, catcher Alex Jackson homered twice and drove in four runs and shortstop Matt Jervis started three double plays.
The result in Thursday’s San Diego Section Open Division elimination game was an 8-2 win over visiting Rancho Buena Vista.
The victory propels top-seeded Rancho Bernardo (29-5) into Saturday’s 7 p.m. title game against No. 2 Granite Hills (25-9) at USD.
Rancho Buena Vista’s season ends at 16-18.
“There were a lot of college and pro scouts here to see Osborne, and he was really nervous,” said RB coach Sam Blalock. “He finally relaxed about the fourth inning. He’s not overpowering — 85-87 mph on his fastball, but he has a knack of getting out of jams and giving us a chance to win.”
Osborne improved to 12-0 this season with his eighth straight complete game. He’s 21-1 over the last two seasons.
“I like the challenge of a big game, but yeah, I was a little nervous,” Osborne said. “All I wanted to do was pound the strike zone and keep them off balance. I wanted to give us a chance to win. It’s that simple.”
Jackson makes the game look simple.
A junior, he hit six home runs as a freshman, 17 as a sophomore and has 13 this season with 31 RBIs.
His first home run Thursday was a high fly ball that hit the middle of the scoreboard beyond the 345 sign. The second was a laser to left-center field.
“I wouldn’t say I was struggling before this, but my timing was a little off,” Jackson said. “I was like a millisecond slow in getting my foot down.
“It’s nice to get it right this late in the season. The second home run felt so good, I didn’t even feel it off the bat.”
Jervis bailed Osborne out of a two-on, one-out jam in the second inning, flashing to his right and giving Katoh a great feed at second.
RBV hit into a line-drive double play in the third to kill a rally. In the fifth, Jervis roamed up the middle, grabbed a two-hopper, stepped on the bag and threw to first to complete the double play.
“Rancho Bernardo is as a good a defensive team as there is,” said RBV coach Sheldon Watkins. “The first ball, some high school teams don’t even get one out. They turn a double play.
“We played RB five times — all at RB — and beat ’em twice.
“We lost nine games in a row at one point, but we got healthy, and made a nice run in the playoffs. It’s too bad it ended a couple of days early.”