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May 21, 2022

Wildcatz boys’ volleyball team remains unbeaten in PCAL Mission action | Sports Roundup

Aptos and St. Francis baseball teams earn wins in league play

WATSONVILLE—The Watsonville High boys’ volleyball team defeated cross-town rival Pajaro Valley in sweeping fashion (25-15, 25-20, 25-12) in Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission Division play Thursday evening.

Senior middle hitter Isaak Vargas said getting the league win was a big momentum shift for them, especially going into the final stretch of the season. 

“I think we’re really hitting our stride, working as a team,” Vargas said. “It’s pretty cool that we can work hard at practice and it pays off in the game.”

The ‘Catz, who are still remain undefeated at 6-0 in league play, won the first set, 25-15, and seemed to be in total control from the start.

But the Grizzlies jumped out to a 14-10 lead in the second set. Vargas said they lost focus as a team and made simple mistakes such as not communicating with each other.

“That’s what we’ll work on in practice this upcoming week and it’s only going to get better,” he said. 

Watsonville coach Crystal Cornejo-Perez said she was concerned how they would respond after winning a five-set battle against Alvarez High on April 12.

The ‘Catz came crawling back to recapture the momentum and take the second set, 25-20. They began the third set with a 6-0 run and never looked back.

“I think they feel better because that last game was rough,” she said. 

Watsonville (7-3, 6-0) will host Alisal High on Monday at 4:30pm. Vargas said they’ll go into the match with the same mindset, especially knowing that they have a big bulls eye on their backs. 

“I think we’ve had it since Day 1,” Vargas said. “We’ve always had that good mindset that we’re the best. We hope for everyone to come with their best…it makes the game more fun.” 

Baseball

Aptos 3, San Lorenzo Valley 0: Senior pitcher Owen Dueck recorded six strikeouts for the Mariners in their win over the Cougars in Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League play Friday.

Dueck, who is committed to play at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, gave up four hits and one walk in the shutout victory.  

Gabe Gaeckle was 3-for-3 with a two-run home run, a double and two runs scored for the Mariners, and teammate Matt Hood was 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Aptos (13-6, 10-1) will play at Los Altos (7-13) on Saturday at noon and at Soquel (3-15, 2-9) on Tuesday at 4:30pm.

St. Francis 7, King City 1: Freshman pitcher Nash Horton recorded eight strikeouts for the Sharks in their win over the Mustangs in PCAL Mission Division play Thursday. 

Horton gave up one earned run on four hits and two walks in six innings of work on the mound.

Micah Cervantes, a sophomore, finished with two strikeouts in the seventh in relief of Horton.

Seth Vazquez, a senior, batted 1-for-2 with a triple, a sacrifice fly, three RBIs and one run scored for the Sharks. Fellow teammates JR Ibarra, Joel Mendoza, Kai Price and Horton all had multiple hits. 

St. Francis (14-4, 7-2) will play at Soledad (16-5, 9-3) on Monday at 4pm.

Softball

Salinas 2, Watsonville 1: Senior infielder Rylee Gomez scored the Wildcatz’s lone run in their loss to the Cowboys in PCAL Gabilan Division play Thursday.

Gomez batted 1-for-3, and fellow senior teammate Marissa Martinez batted 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Martinez also threw for two innings in relief of Mariah Segura, who gave up two earned runs on six hits and recorded three strikeouts for the Wildcatz (12-7, 2-5), who will host North Salinas (4-10, 2-6) on Thursday at 4:30pm.  

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