TEMPLETON — This past Tuesday afternoon at Vineyard Elementary School, both the Templeton Eagles baseball and softball teams clinched the Los Padres League Title. The baseball team won its first LPL title since the 2013 season and the softball team repeated for the second straight year.
Not only was Tuesday the Eagles’ first chance to wrap up a Los Padres League Title since 2013, it was also senior night. The Eagles honored each of their seven seniors and their families before the game: Justice Gibbons, Jared Money, Tyler Frigon, Adrian Flanagan, Jake Neate, Jared Briltz, and Cole Garcia.
Head Coach Pete Kotheimer had the perfect pregame speech to keep his players focused.
“They actually got us two years ago, twice, and it kept us from having a winning record and that's the only year we haven't had a winning record since 2010, so I reminded them of that,” Kotheimer said. “I told them we probably should have won those games on paper and I told them we should probably win this game on paper, but they need to do what they have been doing all year and play baseball.”
The Eagles heard the message and put the game away early. Garcia got the start on the mound and struck out the first two batters he faced to set the tone for the afternoon. The senior ended up going five innings and only gave up two hits and left the game with his team leading 7-0.
Offensively, the Eagles jumped all over the Orcutt Academy pitcher. Templeton batted all the way through the lineup in the first inning, scoring six runs. Briltz recorded the first RBI on a sacrifice fly and after two walks Nolan Stetz drove in three more runs on a bloop single to right field.
With the victory just one out away, the Eagles put Flanagan in (traditionally a field player) to record the final out. The final out came on a hard hit ball to center field. Once the thud of the ball hitting the back of the glove was heard, the celebration began. Templeton won the game 9-3 and is now 21-6 overall and 17-3 in league with just a single game remaining until CIF.
Both the baseball and the softball teams have been dominant this year, but it is impossible to be better than perfect, which is what the softball team is one game away from accomplishing. They are currently 21-0 with one game remaining Thursday afternoon. It is hard to say that an undefeated team is peaking at the right time, but just last week the Eagles standout pitcher threw a perfect game in a 10-0 victory over Cabrillo.
The Eagles have been completely dominant this year is every facet of the game. So far this season, Templeton has outscored their opponents at a rate that almost seems unbelievable, 172-11 (that’s +161 if you were wondering). Pitchers Ashley Daughtery and Shaylin Coy have combined for a league-leading .27 ERA and have thrown the only two no-hitters in the LPL this season.
Offensively, Daughtery and Ashley Ingle lead the team with batting averages over .500 and with Bella Backer and Katie
Templeton spent much of the year as the No. 2 ranked team in Division 5 of the CIF Southern Section and will enter the playoffs ranked third behind La Reina and Santa Paula.
Both the Boys baseball team and the girl's softball team will be advancing to CIF. The brackets for the playoffs are projected to come out on Monday afternoon.