St. John Bosco baseball shuts out Birmingham in CIF regional semifinals

St. John Bosco baseball shuts out Birmingham in CIF regional semifinals

BELLFLOWER — The St. John Bosco baseball team is headed to its first CIF Southern California Regional championship game after a dominant complete-game performance by sophomore pitcher Julian Garcia in a 5-0 win against Birmingham in the Division III semifinals Thursday.

Garcia allowed two hits, no runs, two walks and had 10 strikeouts in seven innings.

“It feel good. I was confident,” said Garcia, who struck out the side in the first inning. “I know we wanted this game to play another Saturday and get after it again.”

Birmingham outfielder Julius Truitt misses the ball against St. John Bosco HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Carlos Barajas steals second against Birmingham’s Carlos Esparza in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Julian Villaseñor scores the run against Birmingham pitcher Allen Olmos in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Zach Woodson hits against Birmingham HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Julian Garcia pitches against Birmingham HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Carlos Barajas slides home in his team’s 5:0 win over Birmingham HS loses during the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Carlos Barajas slides home in his team’s 5:0 win over Birmingham HS loses during the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

Birmingham’s first baseman Trevor Sostman looks for the out against St. John Bosco’s Carlos Barajas in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

Birmingham’s first baseman Trevor Sostman looks for the out against St. John Bosco’s Owen Tomich in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Owen Stelzer hits against Birmingham HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

Birmingham outfielder Julius Truitt makes the catch against St. John Bosco HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Moises Razo slides home against Birmingham HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Moises Razo hits against Birmingham HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

Birmingham’s Allen Olmos pitches against St. John Bosco HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Julian Garcia pitches against Birmingham HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

Birmingham’s first baseman Trevor Sostman looks for the out against St. John Bosco’s Owen Stelzer in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Julian Villaseñor hits against Birmingham HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

Birmingham outfielder Julius Truitt misses the ball against St. John Bosco HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

Birmingham’s first baseman Trevor Sostman looks for the out against St. John Bosco’s Macade Maxwell in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

Birmingham outfielder Julius Truitt misses the ball against St. John Bosco HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco’s Julian Garcia pitches against Birmingham HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco outfielder Julian Villaseñor makes the catch against Birmingham in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

Birmingham short stop Carlos Esparza slides in under second baseman Noah Perez during the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal against St. John Bosco HS in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

Birmingham’s first baseman Trevor Sostman looks for the out against St. John Bosco’s Macade Maxwell in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

Birmingham outfielder Bronson Jackson makes the catch against St. John Bosco HS in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

St. John Bosco outfielder Julian Villaseñor makes the catch against Birmingham in the CIF Southern California Regional, Division III semifinal in Bellflower on Thursday, May 30, 2024.
(Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

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No. 1 seed Bosco (22-11) will host No. 2 Bakersfield Christian (28-5) in the Division III regional championship game on Saturday.

“What can we say, I just told the guys right now that what a special season to be in a championship game twice, two weeks apart, and get a chance to do something special again,” St. John Bosco coach Andy Rojo said. “It’s a credit to these guys for staying focused all year but especially these last two weeks after that tough loss a couple of weeks ago.”

The Braves are seeking postseason redemption after a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Beckman in extra innings in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 Finals on May 18.

Bakersfield Christian, which won the CIF Central Section Division 2 title, is on a 19-game winning streak and has not lost since March 27.

Bosco scored two runs in the first inning. Junior catcher Micah Taguiam’s RBI single scored sophomore designated hitter Moises Razo, who reached base by drawing a two-out walk. Senior first baseman Zach Woodson (Pepperdine signee) also drew a walk and put the Braves up 2-0 when he scored on a Birmingham fielding error.

Woodson and Taguiam hit back-to-back, one-out singles in the bottom of the third. Senior left fielder Owen Tomich delivered an RBI double that scored Woodson for a 3-0 lead.

Birmingham senior first baseman Trevor Sostman hit a two-out double in the top of the fourth inning, the first hit Garcia allowed. Patriots senior left fielder Ernesto Martinez reached base after being hit by a pitch.

Garcia got out of the fourth inning and left both Birmingham runners stranded after Patriots sophomore catcher Nick Penaranda grounded out to end the fourth.

Birmingham had another scoring opportunity in the fifth after junior shortstop Carlos Esparaza hit a one-out single and stole second base. Esparaza reached third base on a passed ball with two outs. Martinez was walked, which put runners on first and third with two outs for Patriots freshman Julius Truitt. Garcia got Truitt to pop out to end the inning and preserve Bosco’s 3-0 lead.

Garcia threw a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth inning, which included his ninth strikeout of the game.

Bosco sophomore pinch hitter Noah Everly stepped to the plate with the bases loaded with one in the bottom of the sixth inning. Everly delivered a two-RBI single that extended Bosco’s lead to 5-0.

“It felt pretty great to help my team out,” Everly said. “I knew at some point in the game I was probably going to get an at-bat. It felt pretty good hitting with bases loaded… I put the ball in play so that’s the best that can happen.”

“Noah didn’t start in the DH spot for the first time in about two months,” Rojo said. “It was nothing that he had done, I just wanted to go with a left-handed bat. We prepped him before the game and said nothing personal but just be ready to go and he came in and he was ready for it.”

Garcia secured the victory with a 1-2-3 seventh.

“They were depending on me, so we had to get it done,” Garcia said. “I went out there and threw strikes, let the guys work and got it done.”

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