Baseball | Piedmont routs Capuchino in CIF regionals

Piedmont's Dimitri Papahadjopoulos connects for the first of his three hits in the Highlanders 13-1 win over Capuchino at Humphries Field on May 28.

The Piedmont High School baseball team had an easy time of it in the opening game of the California Interscholastic Federation Division 4 playoffs, beating visiting Capuchino 13-1 in a game shortened to five innings due to the mercy rule.

The Highlanders (18-9) will host Colusa in the regional semifinals on May 30. First pitch at Humphries Field is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

In contrast to Piedmont’s 11-1 loss in the North Coast Section Division 4 final to Justin-Siena-Napa, The Highlanders had the big innings this time. Piedmont got four in the first to take the lead and never looked back.

Peter Krumins moved into the leadoff spot and Markos Lagios dropped to No. 2. Both of them drew walks off of Mustangs starter Declan Mendel. Will Parker then singled to left to load the bases. Dimitri Papahadjopoulos then singled to left to bring Krumins home. That was the first of three singles by Papahadjopoulos on the day. He also had three RBI.

“After last week, it’s been good to get back out here and hit better,” Papahadjopoulos said. “I think being at home was a big advantage for us. We just kind of picked up the pieces. I think that first inning, where we put up four, we all just go from that.”

Shafer Dando then reached on an error by Yulio Ceron with Lagios and Parker scoring. Brandon Dicke sacrificed the runners up and Jack Meyjes then singled to score Papahadjopoulos and it was 4-0.

That was all Seve Sanchez needed. He had allowed an unearned run in the first but sailed through the next three innings, facing the minimum thanks to three Highlander double plays. He allowed two hits and three walks with a strikeout in picking up the win.

“I kind of started rough,” Sanchez said. “Walked a few in the first and second inning. It’s alright, though. You’ve got to just stay calm, have a mentality that you trust the defense. As long as the offense is rolling, the pitching always comes with it.”

Said Parker, “I love catching him. His fastball’s got some crazy run to it. I can see how hitters have trouble hitting it. He’s awesome.”

Piedmont got two more in the second, four in the third and three in the fourth. Mendel was gone in the second, allowing six runs on six hits in 1 2/3 innings.

Krumins enjoyed hitting first, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored, two doubles and an RBI. Lagios was 1-for-3 with three RBI and two runs. Parker was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.

Capuchino finished 20-11 on the year.

“We came out firing all cylinders today,” Parker said. “We did what Justin-Siena did to us but this time we’re on the good side.”

It wasn’t clear if the Highlanders would even get a berth in the regional tournament after the loss to Justin-Siena. NCS teams get just three wild card berths to go along with all the division winners.

“The boys came out, we talked about redemption, we talked about opportunity, we talked about found money getting into this tournament,” Piedmont coach Eric Olson said. “We’re just kind of playing with house money here, so just come out and play free. That’s what they did, they came out from the first pitch and took control of the game.”

Olson said they had to get the field ready after thinking the season was over. “We had to revitalize the field here,” he said. “I was down here yesterday fixing the mound. We had kind of put her to bed with going down to Laney (College) on Saturday and we were happy to get her back to life.”

The Highlanders advance to face Colusa, an 8-1 winner over Casa Roble in the first round. The RedHawks are 23-3 on the year.

With a win, top-seeded Piedmont would host the regional championship game on June 1.

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