SCCS baseball to host first playoff game in eight years 


Santa Clarita Christian baseball has made its triumphant postseason return but the fun may just be getting started. 

The Cardinals’ (10-9) wildcard and opening-round wins have set the stage for the program’s first home playoff game in eight years. 

SCCS blasted its way back into the playoffs on Wednesday with a wildcard win over the hosting Shalhevet Firehawks (5-9). 

The Cards became the only birds to catch fire on the day as the team buried the Firehawks, 21-2, highlighted by a 14-run fourth inning. 

SCCS coach Wyatt Waldron’s team was clearly amped up and ready to go for the postseason. 

“They were all fired up,” Waldron said in a phone interview. “I was talking with them after the first wildcard game saying, ‘I wish you guys played with this energy at every game.’ I think all of them, top to bottom, were fired up to be there, including the coaching staff.” 

The Cardinals then entered the Division 8 bracket with a tall task: taking on the undefeated Loma Linda Academy Roadrunners. 

SCCS pitcher Zane Stauffer took the mound against Loma Linda and dealt up a playoff-worthy performance.  

“We had Zane Stauffer, a sophomore, and he’s definitely one of our top pitchers on our team,” Waldron said. “He was wanting to start the other day so he ended up getting the start Friday. He said he felt good, felt healthy, and by the end of the first inning, you could tell he was on.  

Stauffer threw a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits with four walks and 11 strikeouts. The pitcher and fellow sophomore Jacob Trosper each added two-hit days for the Cardinals in the team’s 3-0 road victory over the Roadrunners (9-1-1). 

Stauffer didn’t want to exit the game in the eighth or ninth inning, as he neared the 90-pitch mark. The sophomore showed his coaches his competitive edge to stay in the game and closed out the day and Loma Linda’s season. 

SCCS will now return home for the first home playoff game for every coach and player in the program. 

“Everyone was fired up. They’re all pumped up about it,” Waldron said. “They knew going into yesterday’s game that the potential was there to come back and play a game here in Santa Clarita. I think they were obviously super juiced about that.” 

SCCS has had a handful of programs fold due to COVID-19 or low numbers, but Waldron and the baseball team have found a way to keep thriving over the past three seasons. The Cardinals rostered just nine players last season and finished the year healthy, with every player seeing the field for every pitch. 

“It definitely hasn’t been an easy road by any means,” Waldron said. “Two years ago, when I first came over here, it was hard to sell them on and trying to explain to their time will come. Eight of our starters being freshmen, we said, ‘You’re gonna have to give us some time. We’re gonna have to grow at this thing and put in the work and eventually it’ll start to pay off. You just have to trust the process.” 

Now with 14 players on its roster, SCCS is breaking the barriers of a small school and showing it can compete with the best in Division 8. 

Wyatt Waldron Jr. and Stauffer led the Cards with 20 hits and batting averages over .440 in the regular season. Sophomore Gregory Michlin and freshman Mason Rappleye have both hit well over .300 at the plate this season as well. 

“There’s not a doubt in my mind, I don’t think that there’s a team in Division 8 that they can’t beat,” Waldron said. “It’s just a matter of showing up and executing what they practice. Our league out here has some really good teams, which is great. I wouldn’t want it any other way because it helps us prepare for this.” 

SCCS takes on the Cal Lutheran C-Hawks on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. at Hart High School. 

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