Prep Preview: Village Chr. at Citrus Hill

I’m covering the Sun Valley Village Christian-Perris Citrus Hill CIF-Southern Section Division 5 Quarterfinal Round playoff game today, Friday, May 27, 2016, for The Press-Enterprise/(@PEcom_preps) and the Southern California Newspaper Group/(@SoCalNewsGroup).

First pitch is set for 3:15 p.m. at Perris (Calif.) Citrus Hill High School.

THE LOW DOWN:
Village Christian (22-6 overall, Olympic League champions) are squeaking by so far, having defeated Lompoc, 6-5, in the first round and Banning, 3-1, in the second round. Coach Matt Whisenant’s team has won nine consecutive games, four of its seven by shutout. Cameron Wetherby (.371 BA, 25 RBI) is the big bat in the Crusaders, who have a pair of top-notch arm in Colin McGeary (8-2, 0.60 ERA) and Gordon Ingebritson (6-2, 1.70 ERA) to contend with.

CitrusHillLOGOCitrus Hill (21-6 overall, Mountain Pass League champions) have been at home for the duration of its postseason, and scored five runs in both its first- and second-round wins. Coach Drew Valenzuela’s team lost three of its last four regular-season games to slide into the playoffs, but has picked it up since in order to qualify for a quarterfinal for the first time. Seniors Martin Valencia (.397 BA) and Marcos Hernandez (.373 BA) have led the team in batting all season, with junior Oscar Mancillas (.356) contributing.

THE KEY PLAYERS:
Western Christian
— C/1B/DH Michael Choi, Jr. (5-foot-10, 180 pounds); RHP/SS Gordon Ingebritson, Sr. (5-10, 170); RHP/1B Colin McGeary, Sr. (6-5, 235); 2B Cameron Wetherby, Sr. (5-7, 155); OF Jake Whisenant, Jr. (5-11, 175)

Citrus Hill — INF/P Marcos Hernandez, Sr. (6-foot-1, 200 pounds); OF Oscar Mancillas, Jr. (5-9, 170); INF Martin Valencia, Sr. (6-2, 190); P Jorge Valerio, Sr. (6-2, 215); OF/P Derry Williams, Sr. (6-3, 195)

THE DIFFERENCE:
Whichever team produces the stronger pitching performance. Both teams have front-line starters but pitching depth will come into question today.

THE FINAL SCORE:
Village Christain 6, Perris Citrus Hill 4

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