Brawley takes historic CIF championship

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BRAWLEY - The Brawley Union High Wildcats sailed through CIF playoffs last week, defeating the Sage Creek Bobcats twice and culminating in a 2-0 victory over the Serra Conquistadors in the Division 3 CIF championship for the first time in Valley history.

On May 26, the Brawley Union High Wildcats hosted the Sage Creek Bobcats in the second round of CIF playoffs and carried off a Wildcat victory with a score of 5-3. Then heading into round four of CIF play, the Wildcats once again hosted the Bobcats on May 30, earning a second win in a 1-0 score.

On the mound for the Wildcats in game two was left-handed pitcher Blake Zeleny (#2). Through the top of the first inning, Zeleny held the Bobcats to zero hits, shutting out the inning. However, Brawley was unable to put up any runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.

In the bottom of the second inning, the Wildcats’ Casey Kline (#13) swung for a hard-hit line-drive to left field for a single. Next to the plate, Jonathan Gonzalez (#1) connected for a single, sending the ball to center field. With two runners on base, Brawley’s Jude Littell (#18) came through with a hard hit to deep left field for an RBI single with Kline.

The Wildcats’ Zeleny, along with the rest of Brawley’s defense, kept the Bobcats at one hit in the seventh inning, but it ended Zeleny’s no-hitter. The Wildcats held on to the end of the top of the seventh inning, to get the 1-0 win over the Bobcats and advance to the CIF Division 3 championship.

For the Division 3 championship, the Wildcats traveled Friday to University of California, San Diego and faced off against the Serra Conquistadors in a game where Brawley stayed hot to defeat the Conquistadors with a 2-0 score. Police, fire, and citizens rallied in the early morning to give them a big hometown send-off.

The Wildcats managed to drive in one run off Dylan Reina (#14) in the first inning. Reina hit hard sending a fast ball to left field and gave Jonathan Gonzalez time to come around third base and score for a quick 1-0 lead.

Down by one, the Conquistadors battled back with two hits by Nick Liong (#20) and one from James Reece (#19), but had no luck bringing runners across the plate.

The Wildcats stepped back to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning with a lead-off hit by Jude Litrell. Bringing in Litrell was Gonzalez with a line-drive to the outfield for an RBI single, and the score was 2-0.

The Wildcats held the Conquistadors in the top of the seventh to win this year’s Division 3 championship with that 2-0 score.