ANAHEIM – The Katella baseball team didn’t alter its style against Campbell Hall of North Hollywood in the CIF-SS Division 5 semifinal, even after the small-ball strategy repeatedly failed to pay off.
Dru Zuniga laid down a bunt after Fabian Agredano reached base to start the bottom of the seventh inning. That method didn’t work the previous two innings, but the third time was a charm as the Vikings committed a throwing error on the bunt, opening the door for Michael Hill’s walk-off RBI single in the 2-1 victory at Boysen Park on Tuesday.
With their 15th consecutive victory, the Knights (24-6) advanced to a section final for the first time since 2004. They’ll meet Chaffey of Ontario in the championship game Friday or Saturday at a site to be determined.
“Credit to the kids, they battled all season long,” Katella coach Marcelo Miranda said. “They stuck together. We’ve been through some adversity as a team, but they find a way to stay strong.”
Up against Campbell Hall’s 6-foot-8 junior right-hander Avery Plum, Katella was 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Plum threw 10 straight balls in the third inning to load the bases, but escaped that jam by getting Rafael Flores to line out to center.
“Give the guy some credit, he battled on the mound all game long,” Miranda said of Plum. “He kept us off balance a little bit throughout the game.”
With the Knights trailing, 1-0, Agredano led off the seventh with a grounder to deep short and he crossed first base just as the throw sailed over the first baseman. Zuniga pinch-hit for Jacob Jimenez and bunted back to Plum, but his throw went down the right field line, moving pinch-runner Steven Pardo to third with Zuniga remaining at first.
With Zuniga running, second baseman Steven Limon hit a chopper to shortstop and the throw home sailed to the backstop, scoring Pardo with the tying run and putting runners at second and third. RJ Collins…