LA HABRA – Without a hit entering the seventh inning, Sonora rallied for two runs to defeat Sierra Vista of Baldwin Park, 2-1, in a CIF-SS Division 4 opening-round playoff game Friday at Sonora High.
The Raiders (19-11) will be home against Victor Valley in a second-round game Tuesday.
Willie Castellanos’ well-placed safety squeeze bunt to the right side of the mound drove in Jesse Miskulin with the winning run.
Dylan Villalobos had the Raiders’ first hit, a bunt into the grass along the third base line to lead off the seventh, but he was thrown out trying to steal second.
Sonora coach Pat Tellers had called for a bunt-and-run, but Bennett Thurman didn’t get it down. The freshman first baseman redeemed himself with a long drive for a double into the gap in right-center field.
“That was the hit we needed,” Tellers said. “It put us back in the game.”
Miskulin followed with a single to left. Pinch runner Zack O’Neill was going to stop at third, but when left fielder Matthew Aguayo mishandled the ball, O’Neill scored to make it 1-1. Miskulin took second on the play and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Sierra Vista starter Mario Huizar hit Steven Perez with a pitch. David Miramontes replaced Huizar to face Castellanos.
Right-hander Josiah Austin kept Sonora close with a complete game three-hitter. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound senior struck out eight, didn’t give up a walk and had one hit batter.
Austin threw with power and mixed a hard fastball, sharp-breaking curve and a split-finger fastball.
“He’s done it all year,” Tellers said. “He’s carried us and we know we’re going to get quality innings out of him.”
Sonora catcher Isaac Ramirez helped get Austin out of a jam in the fourth.
The Dons’ Anthony Lueras singled with one out and Huizar was hit by a pitch. Ramirez picked Huizar off first for the second out, and Austin struck out clean-up hitter Fernando Bravo to end the inning.
Huizar had nine strikeouts and three walks in 6 2/3…