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Cavers end decades-old drought

06/06/2015, 6:26pm PDT
By Kirk Kenney

San Diego hangs on against Bishop's to win first section baseball title since 1966

San Diego pitcher Jesus Garcia limited Bishop’s to two hits and one run over five innings.

— San Diego High endured a nearly five-decade drought since winning a section baseball championship.

Now the Cavers were three outs away from ending it. What were a few more minutes in the scheme of things? Excruciating, as it turned out.

San Diego senior left-hander Jagger Acosta escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning of the Division IV championship Saturday at Cal State San Marcos, giving the Cavers a 3-1 win over Bishop’s for the school’s first championship since 1966.

“I’m real proud of these boys,” said first-year coach Will Mercado, a 2001 San Diego High graduate. “If you asked anyone if we would be here, people wouldn’t believe it. ...

“They believed.”

San Diego junior right-hander Jesus Garcia (5-4) limited second-seeded Bishop’s (16-14) to two hits and one run over five innings.

“I just threw strikes and did what I had to do,” Garcia said. “This is crazy. It’s an unbelievable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

No. 4 San Diego’s Jason Amberg broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth with an RBI single. Teammate Martin McLane drove in an insurance run an inning later for the Cavers (22-11).

It was left to Acosta to get the final six outs. His defense helped him in the sixth, turning an inning-ending double play.

In the seventh, Acosta allowed a one-out single and then walked the next two batters to load the bases. He got a tapper back to the mound for the second out on a force at home, then a strikeout to set off the celebration.

“I had a blast,” Acosta said after emerging from the dog pile on the mound. “This being my last game, I wouldn’t ask for a different way to end.”

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