Bellflower baseball’s playoff run ends with loss to Anaheim in Division 6 semifinals

View Original Notice ? Bellflower baseball’s playoff run ends with loss to Anaheim in Division 6 semifinals

ANAHEIM — When Bellflower junior third baseman David Martinez got hit by a pitch with two outs in the top of the first inning against Anaheim, he promptly stole second base and later stole third base after a passed ball.

However, with Martinez in prime scoring position at third base, cleanup hitter senior catcher Ryan Lopez grounded out, leaving a runner on base.

Not being able to capitalize during similar situations like that would be the story of the game, as the Buccaneers squandered several scoring opportunities and went on to lose to Anaheim 4-1 in the CIF Southern Section Division 6 semifinals on Tuesday, May 17.

The Colonists (21-9-1) will play Estancia in the championship game at Cal State Fullerton on Friday or Saturday.

  • Anaheim celebrates their 4-1 win over Bellflower to advance to...

    Anaheim celebrates their 4-1 win over Bellflower to advance to the championship game in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Anaheim’s Evan Torres gets caught in a rundown between second...

    Anaheim’s Evan Torres gets caught in a rundown between second and third bases in the first inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Bellflower’s David Martinez steals second base as Anaheim’s Aaron Rojas...

    Bellflower’s David Martinez steals second base as Anaheim’s Aaron Rojas pitches in the first inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Anaheim’s Jillian Albayati celebrates after scoring in the third inning...

    Anaheim’s Jillian Albayati celebrates after scoring in the third inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Anaheim’s Jillian Albayati bunts for a single in the third...

    Anaheim’s Jillian Albayati bunts for a single in the third inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Anaheim’s Jillian Albayati hits a single in the fourth inning...

    Anaheim’s Jillian Albayati hits a single in the fourth inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Bellflower pitcher Larry Salgado heads back to his dugout after...

    Bellflower pitcher Larry Salgado heads back to his dugout after giving up a pair of runs in the third inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Anaheim’s Sonny Rios scoops up a ground ball before getting...

    Anaheim’s Sonny Rios scoops up a ground ball before getting the batter out in the third inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Bellflower’s Gil Sanchez hits a single in the second inning...

    Bellflower’s Gil Sanchez hits a single in the second inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Bellflower’s David Martinez steals second base as the ball thrown...

    Bellflower’s David Martinez steals second base as the ball thrown to Anaheim’s Evan Torres hits him in the back in the first inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Bellflower’s Larry Salgado pitches in the first inning in Anaheim...

    Bellflower’s Larry Salgado pitches in the first inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Bellflower’s Larry Salgado pitches in the first inning in Anaheim...

    Bellflower’s Larry Salgado pitches in the first inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Bellflower’s David Martinez slides safe with a fifth inning triple...

    Bellflower’s David Martinez slides safe with a fifth inning triple in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Bellflower’s Gil Sanchez is tagged out by Anaheim’s Evan Torres...

    Bellflower’s Gil Sanchez is tagged out by Anaheim’s Evan Torres on a steal attempt in the second inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Anaheim’s Evan Torres, right, catches a fly ball before tripping...

    Anaheim’s Evan Torres, right, catches a fly ball before tripping over center fielder Isaac Hernandez in the second inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Anaheim’s Evan Torres holds up the ball after tripping over...

    Anaheim’s Evan Torres holds up the ball after tripping over center fielder Isaac Hernandez but making the fly ball catch in the second inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Anaheim’s Aaron Rojas celebrates a double in the third inning...

    Anaheim’s Aaron Rojas celebrates a double in the third inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Anaheim’s Isaac Hernandez hits a sacrifice bunt scoring Jillian Albayati...

    Anaheim’s Isaac Hernandez hits a sacrifice bunt scoring Jillian Albayati in the third inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Anaheim center fielder Isaac Hernandez can’t reach a ball hit...

    Anaheim center fielder Isaac Hernandez can’t reach a ball hit by Bellflower’s David Martinez for a triple in the fifth inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Bellflower’s fans brought giant face photos of their players to...

    Bellflower’s fans brought giant face photos of their players to the game in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

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However, the loss does not take away the lifelong memories that were made at Bellflower High during the 2022 baseball season.

“I think one of the best decisions (I made) was coming here,” said Bellflower senior shortstop Gil Sanchez, who transferred from Mayfair High School. “I had a lot of fun with these guys. They were always there for me. It was a great experience, one I never thought I would have, and I’m really blessed to have any of these guys with me and even make it this far.”

In the bottom of the first inning, Bellflower turned a clutch double play with a runner in scoring position at second base to keep the game tied 0-0.

In the top of the second inning, Bellflower senior shortstop Gil Sanchez hit a leadoff single but was thrown out trying to steal second base during the next at-bat.

It was a 1-2-3 second inning for Bellflower junior pitcher Larry Salgado, who had four strikeouts over six innings and gave up seven hits, two walks and four earned runs.

Bellflower's Larry Salgado pitches in the first inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)
Bellflower’s Larry Salgado pitches in the first inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

Meanwhile, it was a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third inning for Anaheim junior pitcher Aaron Rojas, who went on to throw a complete game, while only allowing one earned run, five hits and one walk. He had two strikeouts.

“It felt good because we’ve been through a lot, COVID year,” Rojas said after the game. “We battled all the way through and it feels good.”

Rojas, the nephew of Angels third baseman Jose Rojas, helped himself with a leadoff double in the bottom of the third inning.

“I battled a lot of tough pitches up there, credit to (Larry Salgado). He had good stuff but I just sat on a fastball and it took it the other way,” Rojas explained. “It was exciting. I wanted to get my team going somehow and I did it.”

Anaheim coach Mike Barrera substituted speedy senior Christian Ramos, as a courtesy runner for Rojas.

Senior first baseman Jillian Albayati, Anaheim’s number eight hitter, laid down a bunt single to move Ramos to third with no outs.

Anaheim's Jillian Albayati bunts for a single in the third inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)
Anaheim’s Jillian Albayati bunts for a single in the third inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

“I think it really got the momentum going in the game,” Albayati said of the bunt single. “It was super important to get it down, get the job done and score. It was a big inning.”

A bunt single by senior right fielder Albert Uribe brought home Ramos, giving Anaheim a 1-0 lead.

A sacrifice by senior center fielder Isaac Hernandez brought home Albayati, which made it 2-0.

Salgado walked Uribe with the bases load, which brought home Anaheim third baseman Jesus Mejia to give the Colonists a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.

An RBI single by Hernandez, who went 1 for 3 with 2 RBIs, brought home Rojas to give Anaheim a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.

However, Bellflower kept battling and it looked like the Buccaneers had the ingredients for a rally in the top of the fifth inning.

A leadoff single by Salgado got things started. A single by Bellflower junior designated hitter Neo Rodriguez followed.

Junior right fielder Chris Guillen hit into a fielder’s choice, which left Guillen on first base and Salgado on third base with one out.

However, junior left fielder Jackson Wilson, who had a walk-off hit to propel Bellflower to a 2-1 win in the quarterfinals at home against Arrowhead Christian on May 13, grounded out, which moved Guillen to second base and kept Salgado on third base with two outs.

Bellflower sophomore second baseman Jessie Cadenas drew a walk, which loaded the bases with two outs, with the Buccaneers down 4-0.

Bellflower senior first baseman Branin Seibert stepped up to the plate, looking to make a dent in Anaheim’s lead, however, he grounded out to Anaheim.

Salgado kept Bellflower in the game with a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth.

Bellflower pitcher Larry Salgado heads back to his dugout after giving up a pair of runs in the third inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)
Bellflower pitcher Larry Salgado heads back to his dugout after giving up a pair of runs in the third inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

Martinez hit a leadoff triple for the Buccaneers, which energized Bellflower’s dugout as players thought to themselves, “why not us.” which is the team’s motto.

“Why not us is probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard from someone… It’s the perfect description because no one expected us or really knew our name so why not us, why couldn’t we do it,” Sanchez explained. “There’s no reason we couldn’t do it… we had the talent.”

Lopez struck out but an RBI double by Sanchez, which easily scored Martinez from third base, made it 4-1.

Bellflower's Gil Sanchez hits a single in the second inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)
Bellflower’s Gil Sanchez hits a single in the second inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

With Sanchez in scoring position at second base with only one out, Salgado flew out to second base. With two outs, Rodriguez grounded out to first base to end the top of the sixth inning.

Sanchez, who had two family members who were killed at Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting in 2017, said he’s made lifelong friends that he never really expected to make.

“I made some friends that I never really expected would be there transferring to a new school, I didn’t really expect much and these guys welcomed me with open arms and I’m extremely grateful for that,” Sanchez added. “It’s amazing.”

Bellflower’s season ended with a 16-14-2 record and a second-place finish in the Suburban League.

Anaheim's Jillian Albayati celebrates after scoring in the third inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)
Anaheim’s Jillian Albayati celebrates after scoring in the third inning in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Anaheim beat Bellflower 4-1 in the CIF-SS Div. 6 semifinal game. (Photo by Scott Varley, Contributing Photographer)

Albayati finished 3 for 3 at the plate and is expected to be her team’s starting pitcher in Anaheim’s championship game against Estancia.

“It’s awesome,” Albayati concluded. “I can’t wait to do it again.”

 

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