Highland baseball lived up to its billing as a No. 5 seed in the Central Section Division III playoff bracket, beating No. 12 Visalia-Golden West 7-3 on Tuesday.

The opening round postseason matchup was played at Highland High School.

The big hit came off the bat of sophomore corner infielder Xabi Iparraguirre, who’s three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning put the Scots ahead to stay.

Highland’s pitching took care of the rest, with Cade Sakamoto throwing 2 ⅔ innings of scoreless ball to pick up the win, and Mathew Miranda finishing off the final 2 ⅓ innings of work.

Sakamoto also did damage at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.

The Scots will move on to Thursday’s quarterfinals round, where they’ll visit No. 4 Ridgeview, which was 11-0 winners over No. 11 North on Tuesday.

Riley Moran got the win for the Wolf Pack, throwing six innings while striking out six. Benji Caggianelli went 2 for 3 with a double and three RBIs, Jacob Perez was 1 for 2 with a home run and three runs scored and Moran did damage with the bat as well, going 2 for 3 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.

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