Soledad Aztecs baseball team earned second place in the Mission Division. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

SOLEDAD — Soledad Aztecs baseball team did their part when they beat Alisal for the second time 3-1 last Monday; however, on the final day of the regular season, Alisal came up short against St. Francis, giving the Aztecs second place in the Mission Division.

Entering the week, Soledad had a chance to be co-champs in the division. They would need two outcomes to happen: first, they would need to beat Alisal for a second time, and second, they would need Alisal to beat St. Francis.

The last title the Aztecs won was in 2018, when they went to the Division II Championships.

In the first matchup between Soledad and Alisal, the Aztecs cruised to a 19-6 win. This time, the score wouldn’t be lopsided. With the season on the line, Soledad turned to their ace pitcher, Eric Segura, and once again he dominated.

Segura pitched another gem for seven innings, giving up only two hits and striking out a season-high 14 batters in Soledad’s 3-1 win.

Segura, Noah Fregoso and Dominic Chavez all had an RBI in the win.

The next day, the Aztecs played their final game of the regular season against Greenfield, and at the same time, Alisal and St. Francis were getting ready to play.

Soledad wasn’t paying attention to what was happening in Watsonville. Before the game, the Aztecs honored their seniors before cheering them on while they played.

Soledad won the game 10-0, but the standout moment was when senior outfielder Jorge Olivarria smashed the ball over two fences in left field.

“It was a relief,” Olivarria said. “I’ve been trying to get one, and in my final game, I got one. It felt great.”

With this possibly being the last home game of the season, this year’s group of seniors had time to reflect on their journey at Soledad that included a year of baseball that was taken away due to the global pandemic.

“It’s a blessing to have played here,” Olivarria said. “I had a great time playing here.”

Meanwhile, in Watsonville, Soledad’s hopes of becoming co-champs ended after St. Francis beat Alisal, 13-12. The Sharks became sole champions of the Mission Division.

The Aztecs, who will be in the playoffs, are now waiting to see who they play first.

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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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