It took a little less than an hour for the attention to shift Monday night at Blair Field.
Once the first place Wilson Bruins backed up their four-run second inning with five more runs in the third, their 9-1 lead over Poly made it east to start thinking about Wednesday. That’s when Poly will face Jordan with the chance to clinch a playoff berth and Wilson will play for an outright league title against second-place Millikan.
The Bruins went on to a 10-2 win Monday night, going against a Poly team that was pretty plainly looking ahead. The Jackrabbits used four different pitchers in the first five innings, none of which were their top two starters: Paul Estrada and Josh Rios. The strategy makes sense, considering Poly was already out of the title race, just needing one more victory to secure postseason play.
“We weren’t trying to throw a game or anything, but we felt that the other game was more important,” admitted Poly head coach Erick Bryant after the loss. “Our goal was to win Wednesday, that’s the key game for us.”
With the victory over Poly, Wilson clinches at least a share of the league title, their first since their 2007 CIF and National Championship season. But a win Wednesday would give them their first outright Moore League title since 2005.
“We don’t win the Moore League every year, and this is at least a piece of it,” said Wilson coach Andy Hall. “They’re excited to win it but they want Millikan on Wednesday. That’s gonna be a knockdown, drag-out fight.”
Wilson had the luxury of turning to one of their trio of aces, giving the ball to senior Josh Goldberg. The San Jose State-bound righty threw a comfortable 5 innings, striking out 6 on just 59 pitches while allowing 2 hits and an unearned run. But he did most of his damage at the plate, yanking a pair of 2-RBI singles in the 2nd and 3rd inning to cap off Wilson’s big rallies. Marc Maroney scored a pair of runs and added 2 RBIs of his own.
Poly (11-17, 6-5) faces Jordan (10-8, 4-6) Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at Blair, followed by Wilson (25-4, 11-0) against Millikan (16-10-1, 9-1)) at 6:30 p.m.