The worst thing that happened for Frontier head coach Garrett White was the team couldn’t locate the bus Friday night.
None of that fazed him one bit because his Titans just upset the 8th-ranked team in the state on the road.
The Titans, seeded 8th in the Central Section baseball playoffs, beat No. 1 Clovis-Buchanan 1-0 behind a one-hit 11-strikeout performance by junior Kris Anglin.
Frontier will play at the winner of No. 5 Liberty at No. 4 Santa Maria-Righetti, which was postponed to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The semifinals will be at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Buchanan (26-5) was ranked No. 8 in the state by CalHi Sports and No. 30 nationally by MaxPreps.
“It was an amazing. Probably one of the top five games I have ever been a part of,” White said. “Both teams pitched incredibly well and it just came down to us getting that one break.”
White called on a junior that had just three hits all season to come up with the biggest one for Frontier.
Joe Parker came off the bench and hit a single up the middle to score Tyler Weiner from third with two outs in the top of the seventh. Weiner reached base on a fielding error and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Phair, who had a cast removed on his left hand on Tuesday. Weiner then reached third on a ground ball on the second out of the top of the seventh.
White then called on Parker to pinch hit saying, “It was a gut reaction.”
“I told (Parker) to be ready because he could be needed in a big spot,” White said. “He swung the bat well in practice all week. He hasn’t seen a lot action this year, but came up big.”
Then in the bottom of the seventh, White said the coaching staff was monitoring Anglin’s pitch count which was getting close to the limit off 110 heading into the final inning.
“We were watching Kris’ pitch count,” White said. “He started the seventh with 94 pitches. We knew we had 16 pitches to work with.”
Anglin led off the seventh striking out UC Santa Barbara-bound senior JD Ortiz for his 11th and final strikeout and walked a batter with two outs in the top of the seventh and then got San Diego State-bound T.J. Fondtain to ground out to end the game. Fondtain started the game and pitched five scoreless innings for the Bears.
“Every time anyone threatened, each team had an answer pitching-wise,” White said. “All of the pitching was really good.”
Anglin, who is verbally committed to pitch at Cal State Bakersfield, said he felt confident coming into the game when the team walked off that bus that eluded the team after the win.
“When I got off the bus and walked up with my cowboy hat on and this long bleach blonde hair, I knew I looked like a fool. But I felt dangerous. We all did,” Anglin said. “This win just shows how much heart we have and how much confidence we have in our bench players.
“Negative things happen in baseball and we just worked with what we had to do.”
It was also the performance White knew was in Anglin since he became a starter for the Titans two years ago as a freshman.
“We’ve been talking about this was his time to step up and be the guy everyone knows he can be on the big stage,” White said. “He threw four innings of shutout ball against them earlier this season. So now he’s thrown 11 shutout innings against a pretty amazing lineup. (Buchanan) was in disbelief after the game.”
And once the bus was located the ride back to Bakersfield was a sweet one for Frontier.
“It’s a great moment. We came together as a team,” Anglin said. “We took their energy and we soaked that in and turned that into our own and we rallied.”