A.J. Cleveland got it started with a home run in the first inning and Isiah Fajardo finished it off on the mound as No. 3 Highland beat No. 6 Firebaugh 5-1 in the Central Section Division III baseball quarterfinals at home on Saturday afternoon.
Scots head coach Mike Garza knew that with possible thunderstorms in the forecast for Friday, he was caution of having the Eagles travel south just to have the game postponed.
Both coaching staffs and administration agreed to the 11 a.m. start and a standing-room only crowd showed up to watch Fajardo pitch a complete game four-hitter for the Scots.
“It was very fun. It was great weather with a great crowd,” Garza said. “You can’t complain. (Friday), the weather was a little sketchy. Just to be on the safe side, we would have hated for them to drive all the way down just to have it canceled. This turned out to be great weather for baseball and worked out perfectly for us.”
Fajardo’s only run yielded was unearned and did not walk a batter and struck out seven and also had two doubles and scored three times out of the lead off position.
“He was lights out,” Garza said. “He was hitting the spots and had his team behind him. The whole dugout behind him. I kept asking, ‘Do you have one more inning?’ He just said, ‘I’m not done. This game is mine.’ And he got it.”
Highland will host No. 10 Nipomo in the semifinals on Wednesday.