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LONG BEACH — Castaic baseball coach Darrell Davis was candid about his expectations for the Coyotes entering the program’s second year of varsity competition.
“I knew we were going to be competitive, but to say I thought we could win a CIF final, I don’t know about that,” Davis said. “Our league is very tough and I knew it was going to be hard to get out of.”
Not only did Castaic finish third in the Foothill League and earn an automatic playoff berth, it went on to win the CIF Southern Section Division 6 crown with a 7-0 win over Hesperia Christian Friday afternoon at Blair Field in Long Beach.
Junior Tyler Hawn threw a complete game, allowed just four hits, struck out six and walked none to deliver Castaic its first CIF title in school history and make it just the second program from the Foothill League to win a CIF crown joining Hart, which won its title in 1999.
“Nothing was different today,” Hawn said. “I kept the same approach I’ve had all year long. Kyler (Freude) has been a huge help with that, he’s been my mentor since I was a freshman.”
Hawn’s most impressive inning was in the second when he retired the side in just seven pitches.
“I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Freude said of Hawn. “That’s my guy. He did everything perfect today. He brought us home the win.”
Hawn got plenty of run support, highlighted by a four-run fifth inning.
Aaron Gonzalez provided the fast start for Castaic with a two-out RBI single to score Joji Sakata in the bottom of the first inning. David Cailotto’s RBI single doubled the advantage in the fourth inning to make it 2-0.
Hesperia Christian threatened in the fourth with runners on first and third with one out, but Hawn was able to get Kyle Day to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning and maintain the Coyotes’ 2-0 lead.
“I made a mental image on where I wanted each pitch to go and was able to execute,” Hawn said. “Everything was feeling great.”
Hesperia Christian didn’t help itself in the fifth, loading the bases and walking two straight batters to make it 4-0 before another RBI single from Cailotto and a sacrifice fly from Matthew Airhart made it 6-0. Brody Lusk’s infield single in the sixth scored Sakata balloon the lead to 7-0.
Gonzalez finished the day 2 for 4 and Cailotto was 2 for 3 with two RBIs to the lead Castaic (24-7-1) from the plate.
Castaic coach Darrell Davis lifts the CIF plaque and celebrates with his team. pic.twitter.com/mg40M1ICFX
— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) May 20, 2023
Considering the trimmings of Castaic’s season, it’s a storybook tale.
The school opened in the fall of 2019 and endured the pandemic while starting its baseball program with just a freshmen team in the spring of 2020 (only playing nine games due to COVID-19). In 2021, it was a junior varsity program before finally offering varsity baseball in 2022. This season was the first year the program had seniors on the roster, and it’s the school’s first senior class.
“It’s been an overwhelming experience,” Freude said. “It’s hard to put into words, but hopefully this helps put Castaic on the map.”
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