The Aztecs won an epic 14 inning battle against Savanna (Anaheim) 4-3, in the Quarterfinals on their quest to reach the Finals for the third consecutive year.
Brooks Kriske was on the hill for the Aztecs against the Rebels Ace.
In the Top of the first the Aztecs could only manage a single by Kriske. In the Bottom of 1, Savanna got a runner aboard with a single who then advanced on a wild pitch, and then on a drop 3rd pass ball stike out, both runners were safe on a throw to third. The next batter lifted a fly to left to score the run.
END OF 1: AZTECS 0 Savanna 1
In the second, the Aztecs again got a runner aboard with a single by Jacob Clark, who was sacraficed to second base only to have the rally stall with a strike out to end the threat. In the Rebels half, Kriske struck out the side
END OF 2: AZTECS 0 Savanna 1
The third has the Aztecs go down in order, as did Savanna with two more K's by Kriske
END OF 3 AZTECS 0 Savanna 1
The fourth had Jonanthan Serven single, but the Aztecs could not plate him. Savanna's half had a base on balls and nothing more.
END OF 4 AZTECS 0 Savanna 1
In the fifth the Aztecs rallied with a two out single by Brody Kato, followed by a double Jonathan Serven. John Schuknecht was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kriske had an opportunity to help his cause, but was struck out to end the rally. Savanna's half of the fifth was a 1-2-3 inning.
END OF 5 AZTECS 0 Savanna 1
The sixth began with Brian Serven drilling a 3-1 fastball over the left field wall for a home run. Chris Drake followed with a single (he then was pinch ran by Jono Tellier). Jacob Clark reached on an error by the second baseman which allowed Tellier to take 3rd. Clark then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Conner Ventura then bounced to the pitcher who threw home to get Tellier attempting to advance -at the plate. This left the Aztecs still first and third with one out. Kelly Arcand then lined to the pitcher, who then made a great play throwing to third quickly to double off Clark at 3rd to end the threat at just a run. Kriske and the Aztecs then retired the Rebels again 1-2-3 on just six pitches, to bring of the 7th.
END OF 6 AZTECS 1 Savanna 1
The Aztecs struck right away with a single by Brody Kato, who was then retired on a fielders choice to second on a ground ball by Jonathan Serven. Serven stole second. After a strikeout, Aztecs had a runner on 2nd with 2-outs. Brooks Kriske hit a fly between the right and center fielders which dropped in for a double to score Serven and gain the lead 2-1. Brian Serven was intentionally walked before the rally ended on a strike out of Chris Drake. Savanna came back with a lead off single, followed by a walk. Kriske recomposed and struck out the next batter. However a passed ball allowed both runners to advance to 2nd and 3rd. The following batter pushed a bunt to second which scored the runner making it 2-2. Kriske struck out the next batter for his 10th of the game.
END OF 7 AZTECS 2 Savanna 2
In the 8th the Aztecs managed to get a one out walk to Conner Ventura, but the next batter hit into a double play to end their half of the 8th. Brian Serven came in to relieve Kriske on the mound to face the top of the Rebels order. They managed a one-out single, and then sacraficed him over to second. Coach Salazar called for the intentional walk of their #3 hitter, and the clean up hitter failed to produce as he lifted a fly ball to right which was caught by Zack Novis
END OF 8 AZTECS 2 Savanna 2
The 9th and 10th, both teams went down 1-2-3 in each at bat.
END OF 10 AZTECS 2 Savanna 2
The 11th the Aztecs were able to must a walk by Arcand but nothing else. In Savannas half, the #2 hitter walked with one out, and the #3 hitter quickly hit a tailor maid grounder to second which should have led to a inning ending double play, however the ball hit something in the grass and bounded high over the head of Aztec second baseman Travis Moniot to make it first and third with one out. Things were looking tense for the Aztecs, but Brian Serven buckled down and retired the next batter on an infield flyout. The final hitter of the inning drove a fly ball to deep left, which was reeled in on a great running catch to deep right by Zack Novis to end the rally.
END OF 11 AZTECS 2 Savanna 2
At the start of the 12th, both of the teams, and the fans were on the edge of their seats. John Schuknecth singled with one out, and with two outs, the Rebels intentionally walked Brian Serven, however he was picked off at first base to end the inning. The Rebels would now face Aztecs closer John Schuknecht who came in and shut them down 1-2-3.
END OF 12 AZTECS 2 Savanna 2
The 13th started with a one out walk to Jacob Clark. Ventura sacrafice bunted him to second. Kelly Arcand then hit a sharp grounder which also appeard to hit a bad spot in the grass on bounded into the outfield to score Clark to take the lead. 3-2. The next batter grounded out to end the inning with the lead. For the Rebels, Schuknecht hit the first batter who advanced on a ground out back to the mound. The Aztecs again choose to intentionally walk the Rebels #3 hitter to make it first and second, one out. A weak grounder could not be played into two, but did retire the next batter to make it 2nd and 3rd with two outs. The next Rebel batter hit a slow roller to second, but Aztecs second baseman Jacob Clark threw low to first for an error which plated the run and tied the game again. The next pitch resulted in a fly ball out to move the game into the 14th.
END OF 13 AZTECS 3 Savanna 3
To start the 14th the feeling was of every emotion for both teams and respective fans. The Aztecs had the top of the order up, and Jonathan Serven quickly lifted a 1-1 pitch to deep right center off the wall for a triple. On an ill-advised relay throw which went over the third baseman's head, Serven was able to put the Aztecs up again, 4-3. The next three batters each hit solid balls but all were outs.
John Schuknecht took the mound in "closing" relief for the third inning, It would only get more intense as Schuknecht walked the first batter and then hit the next batter in a controversial call by the ump who allowed the hit batsman who appeard to by crouching over the plate (this would have been less significant had the umpire not already disallowed to Aztecs who were hit by pitches ealier in the game, one of which who was hit twice in the same at bat). With runners on 1st and 2nd and none out, the Rebels attempted a sacrafice bunt, but Schuknecht threw to a stretching Brooks Kriske at third to retire the runner, in a play adamently appealed by Savanna. Schuknecht hit the next batter to load the bases with one out. Then next batter attempted to drag a bunt down the third base line that Kriske charged but then opted to let the ball go and followed it almost to the third base bag where it trickled foul. Again, Savanna's third base coach protested but was denied. Schuknecht then struck that batter out for the second out. The final batter lifted a fly ball to right field on a 1-0 count which nestled into Zack Novis's glove to seal the hard fought victory.
END OF GAME AZTECS 4 Savanna 3
At the plate the Aztecs were led by 4 hitters who had a pair of hits each
Brian Serven - 2 hits, (HR, and Single) 1 RBI, 1 Run Scored, 2 BB
Jonathan Serven - 2 hits (Triple and Double) 2 Runs Scored
Brooks Kriske - 2 hits (Single and Double) 1 RBI
Brody Kato - 2 hits (both singles)
Schucknecht,Clark, Drake and Arcand each had a hit, with Arcand providing an RBI.
On the mound the Aztecs pitchers were stellar -
Kriske 7 innings pitched, 10 strike outs, 2 hits allowed, one earned
B Serven 3 innngs pitched, 1 strike out, 1 hit allowed.
Schuknecht 4 innings pitched, 2 strike outs, 1 unearned run allowed. Winning Pitcher
In the playoffs thus far, Aztec pitching has held opponents to a meager .153 batting average while striking out 29, and allowing just 15 hits in 28 innings.
Aztec Field will be rocking on Tuesday as the Aztecs face Monrovia and a shot at the CIF SS title.