SAN JOSE — The Leland High School baseball team upset top-seeded Willow Glen in the quarterfinal round of the Central Coast Section Division II playoffs, but may have run into the division’s best team, despite seed, in the semifinals Thursday at Municipal Stadium.
Fifth-seeded St. Ignatius scored six runs in the first inning, three runs in the second and closed the game out in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI double from Nick Johnson that sealed the 10-0 mercy-rule win over the eighth-seeded Chargers.
Johnson’s final double capped a 4-for-4 performance at the plate for the left-handed-swinging right fielder. He also had two RBIs, scored two runs and had two doubles.
The Wildcats collected 12 total hits, including four straight in the first inning that allowed SI to score four runs before Leland recorded an out.
“Everything came together and it rolled through the whole lineup,” Johnson said. “We wanted to show what we had. We were ranked as the five seed in this tournament and we thought we were better.”
With a sizable early cushion, Cal-bound senior starting pitcher Collin Monsour threw four shutout innings and allowed just two hits, while striking out three, but maybe most importantly, only threw 54 pitches.
Due to high school rules, Monsour will now be available to throw six innings in the championship game against second-seeded Aptos on Saturday.
“That was the idea,” St. Ignatius coach Matt Stecher said when asked if he was saving Monsour for an appearance on Saturday. “We tried to keep his pitch count low, but we also wanted him to set the tone for the game. He definitely did that and now we’re hoping that with a day of rest, he can do some relief work for us on Saturday.”
Monsour’s replacement, left-hander Jack Schoenberger, didn’t disappoint either. In his lone inning of work, the junior struck out the side on just 13 pitches.
“Collin set the tone and Jack came in and did a phenomenal job,” Stecher said. “It was a risk, but after that showing, it wasn’t really a risk. It even turned a little hostile in the stands and that didn’t faze him at all.”
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