Huge sixth inning powers Castaic baseball past Lancaster 

Kyler Freude (34) pitches against Excelsior Charter at Saugus High on Wednesday, 050323. Dan Watson/The Signal

Castaic Coyote baseball is onto the CIF Division 6 quarterfinals after a road win over the Lancaster Eagles. 

Castaic won, 9-4, after a huge five-run sixth inning broke a 4-4 tie to put away the Eagles. 

Third baseman Aaron Gonzalez led the team with three RBIs and was one of five Coyotes with two hits on the day. Gonzalez nearly smashed a ball over the fence in the sixth-inning-rally to bring in two runs with an RBI double. Shortstop Anthony Luna also added two hits for Castaic, and sparked the inning after he smoked a ball down the left field line. 

Kyler Freude got the start for Castaic and held Lancaster in check until the fourth inning. The Eagles sparked back-to-back two-run innings off Freude but were cooled down by relievers James Lafferty and Diego Spross. 

Lafferty took over in the fifth and shut down the Lancaster momentum. The sophomore pitcher allowed just one hit in his sole inning on the mound. Spross closed out the game for Castaic and continued to shove with two nearly perfect innings of work. The senior pitcher struck out four Eagles and walked one. 

Coyotes coach Darrell Davis praised his reliever’s readiness after a tough season.  

“Diego’s been ready,” Davis said Wednesday in a phone interview after the game. “He would’ve been one of our starters this year, but he’s been going through a lot of rehab with his arm. He probably wasn’t healthy until the second or third week of league. He doesn’t complain and when it’s his time, he goes out there and does his thing. It worked out great for us today.” 

The Coyotes’ defense backed up their pitchers as usual with some highlight plays. Senior Brody Lusk made a diving catch in center field and sparked a double play with an on-the-money throw to second base to escape the fourth inning with the Eagles threatening. 

Castaic will now host the Division 6 quarterfinals and face the Mayfair Monsoons. Mayfair will travel to Castaic and be on the road for its second straight postseason game. The Coyotes return home after three playoff games away from their home field and will finally get to play postseason baseball at home. 

The Monsoons head to Castaic on Friday at 3:15 p.m. for a game Davis is expecting to be packed with baseball fans. 

“We’ll see what we can do, I think it’s gonna be packed up there,” Davis said. “The baseball community should come out. I think a lot of people will come cheer us on. We’re expecting a packed house. We’re going to bring it and give it everything we’ve got on Friday to get to that semifinals.” 

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