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    Fountain Valley baseball tops Trabuco Hills in CIF-SS playoffs with thrilling finish
    • May 4, 2024

    FOUNTAIN VALLEY — The CIF-SS Division 3 baseball playoff game between Trabuco Hills and Fountain Valley on Friday featured a season’s worth of emotions in the final inning.

    In the top of the seventh, the Mustangs, who had been trailing by a run for most of the contest, were down to their final strike when a two-run single from Sean Dmytrowicz gave them the lead at Fountain Valley High.

    Fountain Valley came back and scored two runs in the bottom of the inning for a 4-3 walk-off victory in the first round of the playoffs.

    Fountain Valley’s baseball team beat Trabuco Hills 4-3 in the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs Friday, May 3. From left, Brady Tomoko (3), Josh Grack (22) and Gibson Rath (4) each made big contributions for the Barons. (Photo by Lou Ponsi)

    Michael Paterson (11) went 2 for 4 with two RBIs in Fountain Valley’s 4-3 victory over Trabuco Hills in the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs Friday, May 3. Patterson drove in the tying run in the bottom of the seventh. (Photo by Lou Ponsi)

    Fountain Valley’s Cayden Bonura (33) pitched a complete-game in the Barons’ 4-3 victory over Trabuco Hills in the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs Friday, May 3. (Photo by Lou Ponsi)

    Fountain Valley players celebrate after a 4-3 walk-off victory over Trabuco Hills in a CIF-SS Division 3 playoff game Friday, May 3, at Fountain Valley High. (Photo by Lou Ponsi)



    Michael Patterson’s single with the bases loaded drove in the tying run, his second RBI of the game, and then Josh Grack followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Brady Tomko with the winning run for the Barons (19-9).

    “He threw me a first pitch curveball,” Grack said. “I saw he missed low and I figured he was going to go back to it. He did and he gave it a little higher. I just put a bat on it. I was just thinking a pop fly, just hit it and do my job.”

    The game was a pitchers’ duel for six innings.

    Pitcher Kenji Gonzales singled home Ryan Luce in the first to give the Mustangs (12-11) a 1-0 lead.

    But Barons starter Cayden Bonura, who pitched a complete game, didn’t allow another hit until there were two outs in the fifth inning.

    “He’s been a bulldog,” Barons coach Gerardo Gonzalez said. “He got a little hyped up and then kind of just left some pitches up and they got some hits (in the seventh). But he’s an emotional kid and he plays off his emotions, which is great. We wouldn’t be where we’re at without him.”

    Gonzales, the starter for the Mustangs, allowed two runs on five hits over five innings.

    Fountain Valley’s Gibson Rath led off the second with a home run to tie the score and Patterson’s single in the third drove in Tyler Peshke to give the Barons a 2-1 lead.

    That’s how it stayed until the seventh.

    With one out, Logan Molina hit a single and Daniel Van de Kreeke followed with a double to put runners on second and third.

    After a foul out, Dmytrowicz stepped up and with a one-ball, two-strike count, singled in both runners to give the Mustangs a 3-2 lead.

    That set the stage for the Barons’ rally in their final at-bat.

    Trabuco Hills coach Michael Burns had plenty of praise for his team for their effort against the Barons and also for the way they closed out the regular season with a sweep of Mission Viejo to qualify for the playoffs.

    “I don’t know if I’ve ever wanted it more for a group of kids than this group of kids,” Burns said. “The way they approach their day-to-day, the way they work their butts off. We’re down to our last strike. That’s the epitome of this team. I’m just so proud of them and hope they can take that into life with them.”

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    ​ Orange County Register