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November 26, 2022

Baseball | Soledad Aztecs face stiff competition as win streak continues

SOLEDAD — Soledad Aztecs are currently on an eight-game winning streak, but starting this past Tuesday, their remaining baseball schedule will feature teams at the top of the division.

After sweeping Everett Alvarez on April 6 and 8, the Aztecs have won eight straight games and have the longest win streak in the Pacific Coast Athletic League. During this stretch, they have outscored their opponents, 84 runs to 6.

“As a team right now, we’re feeling pretty confident because of the win streak we are on,” said Soledad player Eric Segura. “Over these past weeks, we’ve grown into a tighter family and we are planning on keeping this win streak alive.”

Soledad’s loss to King City back on March 18 woke them up, according to Soledad Head Coach Damien Ryan. Since then, they have been destroying teams, only playing a full game once during their winning streak.

The last time the Aztecs had a winning streak of eight games was in 2018, when the team went to the Central Coast Section Division II Championship.

Now, looking at the teams the Aztecs have beaten during the win streak, only Monterey was a quality opponent to compete against. The rest of the teams combined for two wins in the Mission Division and Independence High is 2-10 overall.

When breaking down how the Aztecs stack up this season against their quality opponents — Watsonville twice, King City twice, Pacific Grove, Liberty Union, Calaveras and Monterey — their record is 4-4.

Against those opponents, the worst loss came to Liberty Union, 14-4. But, the game against Calaveras — who might be the best team they faced so far with a 16-1 overall record — was a moral victory despite the 4-3 loss, as Soledad was leading for three innings.

When comparing the contenders’ schedules based on the opponents’ winning percentage of each team in the Mission Division, it would be Soledad that’s had the more difficult route so far.

They are 2-0 against the Gablin Division, while Stevenson is one of the favorites to win the Cypress Division and Gunderson, Calaveras and Liberty Union are all in first place in their respective divisions. 

“We know we should be up in that division with them,” said Soledad player Dominic Chavez. “So beating them (Monterey) definitely added to our confidence.”

Soledad, who is in a prime position to capture a league title, might get more if they get through these next games with few hiccups.

The Aztecs played at Monte Vista Christian on Tuesday, winning 4-0, and then traveled to San Jose to compete against Gunderson on Thursday. There, Soledad won 11-2, keeping their win streak alive.

“We’re at our best when more things are on the line,” Chavez said. “We’re finally catching our rhythm. The only thing that’s going to stop us is ourselves. As a team, we’re excited as big games start to approach. We love to compete.”

Jason Gallardo
Jason Gallardo is the sports reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers high school sports for South Monterey County.

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