The Aptos High baseball team is at the top of the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League standings with an 11-1 overall record. The Mariners beat Monte Vista Christian, 5-2, in league action on Thursday. Photo: Juan Reyes

WATSONVILLE—Aptos baseball coach Jason Biancardi said it’s never easy beating the same opponent twice, especially when the second meeting is at their place.  

But a strong pitching performance combined with a nearly flawless defense and a dash of offensive firepower guided the Mariners to a road win against Monte Vista Christian, 5-2, in Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League action on May 13.  

The Mariners improved to 11-1 overall and sit atop of the league standings with the win on Thursday, along with a 9-2 victory against Soquel High on Saturday. 

Biancardi said he’s feeling good with where they stand, especially because they have at least a four game cushion on second place MVC. 

“[MVC] has been playing good baseball as of late, so that was a big win,” he said.

Mariners junior pitcher Quinn Holcom tossed six innings giving up six hits, two earned runs and no walks. He had a pair of strikeouts.

“All the stuff was working in the bullpen and I was able to execute most of my pitches,” he said. “The defense definitely helped me out a lot today.” 

Andrew Fernandez batted 2-for-4 with a run scored and 2 RBIs for the Mariners. He also made the defensive play of the game when he caught a line drive and tagged third base for a double play to end the fourth inning. 

“Our pitching and defense has been our strength all season,” Biancardi said. “And now our offense is getting hot.”

The Mustangs got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning when Alex Marks drove in Jacob Woods, who batted 1-for-3 with a run scored. 

Woods also started the game on the mound. He threw for 4 and 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on five hits and recording two strikeouts for the Mustangs

Diego Mitchell, a junior, batted 2-for-3 with a home run in the sixth inning for MVC (8-5), which plays at San Lorenzo Valley High on Tuesday at 4pm.

Tyler Brackett, who was hitless in his first three at-bats, had a clutch hit in the top of 5th that drove in two runs to extend the lead to 5-1. He batted 1-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a walk. 

“I was just looking to piece something up,” he said. “I was 0-for-2 and I was just trying to get something done. Right pitch at the right time.” 

Holcom said the game was getting stagnant until Brackett came through with the clutch hit that shifted all of the momentum in their direction. 

The Mariners have four games left in their schedule and Holcom said right now is not the time to get passive. 

“That’s not going to be an issue on our team, everyone always wants to win,” he said. “But keep that energy up and don’t get complacent.”

Brackett agreed. And even though they hold the best record in the league, he mentioned that they shouldn’t underestimate any team from here on out.

“Just play the game that we know how to play,” he said.   

Jack Spinelli batted 1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk; while Nathaniel Brouse batted 1-for-3 with a walk and a double. Brouse also recorded the save and struck out two batters in the bottom of the seventh. 

“We’re playing with a lot of confidence going into the second round of the league [season],” Biancardi said.  

Next up, the Mariners will attempt to avenge their only loss of the season in a home game against St. Francis on Thursday at 4pm. 

Previous articleOrchard offers u-pick roses, outdoor fun
Next articleSt. Francis’ Garrett Lee records hat trick in win over Ceiba | Weekly Roundup
A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here