Spartans cruise in elimination round to set up date with Calexico in CIF playoffs
Nico Viesca tosses complete game shutout to lead Central to double-elimination bracket
EL CENTRO, Calif., (KYMA, KECY) - It was a season of plenty ups and plenty of downs for Central Spartans baseball - but now all that matters is to survive and advance in playoff baseball.
After receiving the No. 7 seed in the CIF Division IV bracket, the Spartans got to kick off the postseason on their home field in the elimination round against No. 10 Sweetwater.
And with Nico Viesca on the mound, all the Spartans needed to do was push across a couple of runs. They did enough of that and then some on Tuesday afternoon.
The Spartans would cruise to an 8-0 win behind a complete game shutout and 12 strikeouts from Viesca, along with 12 hits as a team to seal the win and advance.
"We're starting to gel and we just want to keep that momentum going," said head coach Gene Martin. "It took us a while to get this camaraderie and desire to want to play with each other. They're coming along and this is the time that we need that to come together."
The Spartans struck early with two runs in the bottom half of the 1st - and then followed that up with three more in the 2nd inning to build a comfortable 5-0 for Viesca.
Once they took that same lead into the bottom of the 4th inning, it was time to put the game away - and with the help of a two RBI hit from Diego Acuna and another RBI double from Dominique Diaz, the Spartans would take an 8-0 lead into the late innings.
That's when Viesca settled in completely and shoved through the final three innings, only allowing three hits. The win now sends the Spartans to the first round of the double-elimination bracket with the No. 2 Calexico Bulldogs waiting for them on Wednesday.
Viesca confident that they have a good shot to make a run.
"We're feeling good. We're feeling confident. We feel like if we do what we did today and go out there and hit the ball into play and let our fielders do the work, we will get it done," said Viesca. "I feel like we can go all the way. I feel like we have it all to do what it all takes."
First pitch from Calexico set for 7 pm from Elmer Belcher Field in Calexico. The winner heads to Friday for round two, while the loser will also play Friday and have to claw through the loser's bracket.