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Vikings eliminated in playoffs

May 24, 2002|By ROBERT FULTON, Special to this newspaper

LA JOLLA — New CIF San Diego Section rules in this year's baseball playoffs give schools a second chance through double-elimination.

The Holtville High baseball team used up its second chance Thursday, losing 6-3 in Division IV action to the Bishop's School here.

"Our bats kind of went flat," said Holtville coach Scott Anderson. "That pitcher (Antonio Perez) kept us off balance and we just weren't driving the ball. We were making a lot of contact but slapping everything. We gave them a run early. The errors hurt. They had a couple of more balls fall in and we didn't."

The Vikings were down 1-0 early but rallied in the second inning.

Holtville's Adan Mejia got on base with a single and was followed on the bags by Jarrett Hilfiker, who walked. Billy Huyler ripped a single to drive in Mejia and Hilfiker came in later in the inning on a fielder's choice, giving the Vikings a 2-1 advantage.


Bishop's added runs in the third and fourth innings for a 4-2 lead. However, Holtville wouldn't go quietly.

In the top of the sixth, Mejia slammed an inside-the-park home run to pull his team to 4-3.

That would be as close as the Vikings would get, allowing two more runs in the bottom of the sixth.

The Vikings were led on the mound by Hilfiker, who gave up six hits while striking out one and walking one.

Mejia was monstrous with the bat, garnering two hits and two RBI. He also scored twice.

Holtville finishes the year 8-15 overall and 3-9 in the Imperial Valley League.

"I think it was a good experience," Anderson said. "I'm losing three kids off this team. The rest of them will be back. They had the experience to go through a tournament and we hope to get back next year."

This season was a marked improvement over last year, when the Vikings went 5-17 and 0-12 in IVL.

"I thought it was a big improvement over last year," Anderson said. "Last year we had to bring six freshmen to the varsity because those senior and junior classes were so weak. I think we learned a lot last year and they took that extra step this year."

With another year of experience under its collective belt, the young Viking squad hopes to be even better next year.

"Hopefully it's a step in the right direction," Anderson said. "I think we're getting better every time we step onto the field. Those younger guys are learning, learning how to play the game and going from never playing freshmen or J.V. baseball straight to varsity. Everything is a new experience for them. Hopefully we take this, learn from it and come back and get them next year."

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