San Ysidro pitcher Octavio Arroyo (upper right) is mobbed by his teammates after tossing a complete game to defeat San Dieguito.
San Ysidro High made history in Friday’s San Diego Section Division III baseball final at USD’s Fowler Park.
Coach Ken Canche’s South County ballclub edged top-seeded San Dieguito 2-1 to capture San Ysidro’s first section championship in any sport in the school’s 11-year history.
“Twenty-two years of coaching — and finally,” said Canche, who has been at San Ysidro for seven years after coaching at Crawford, Mount Miguel and Sweetwater. “This is amazing.”
Sophomore right-hander Octavio Arroyo scattered six hits in pitching a complete game for the Cougars (18-15), who were making their first appearance in a section final.
“There are just no words to describe this feeling right now,” Arroyo said.
Despite his pitcher’s youth, Canche was confident Arroyo was up to the task.
“The kid has a lot of talent on the mound and won against a lot of tough competition,” the coach said.
When San Dieguito (27-8) put the tying run at second base in the seventh with one out, Canche jogged out to confer with his pitcher.
“Arroyo told me to go back, that we were going to win,” Canche said.
Arroyo proceeded to put the go-ahead run on with his second walk of the inning but escaped with a strikeout and a groundout.
“This is hands down the best game he’s pitched all season long,” San Ysidro catcher Jose Garcia said.
Arroyo broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the fifth inning, scoring Oscar Polanco, who led off the inning with a double. Polanco drove the ball over the head of the Mustangs’ center fielder.
“I was looking for an inside fastball and that’s what I got,” Polanco said.
San Ysidro’s Andres Alvarez was 2-for-3, driving in what proved to be the winning run with a fifth-inning single.
San Dieguito pitcher Noah Huggins limited the Cougars to four hits but could not overcome four Mustangs errors.