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May 20, 2022

Baseball | St. Francis falls to Soledad in league play

SOLEDAD — The St. Francis High baseball team is in the middle of making a run to the Central Coast Section playoffs and possibly beyond, but the Sharks hit a minor snag along the way after a 6-4 loss to Soledad High in Pacific Coast Athletic League’s Mission Division play on April 27.

Eric Segura, an Oregon State-bound right-handed junior pitcher, gave up 10 hits and recorded seven strikeouts for the Aztecs, who got some redemption after St. Francis beat them, 8-6, on April 25.  

“The guy on the mound is pretty good,” St. Francis coach Ken Nakagawa said about Segura. “He’s going to a Pac-12 school for a reason.” 

Starting senior pitcher Kai Price took the loss for Sharks who dropped to 8-3 in league play.

Nakagawa thought his ace pitcher, who finished with 10 strikeouts, did an outstanding job keeping pace with a NCAA Division I prospect. 

“I thought between the two of them, if somebody scored two runs it should hold up,” Nakagawa said. “This 6-4 score is kind of surprising with those two guys on the mound.” 

Despite the loss, the Sharks are still in the driver’s seat and well in the mix for a Mission Division title. They were back on the diamond with a non-league contest against Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League power Aptos High on Thursday.

The Aztecs improved to 10-4 and are also alive for a league championship, but they’ll need some outside help, including more losses from St. Francis and Alisal (12-3-1, 8-2). 

“This win now gives us a chance to be league champs. We needed this,” Segura said. “Now we just gotta go out and play Alisal, hopefully we sweep those two.”

Segura said last Monday’s game was similarly competitive to Wednesday afternoon’s battle.

“The pitching aspect for us was different but we were still putting bats on the balls throughout both games,” he said. “They did a great job of playing as a team and that was a team win.”

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