PALM SPRINGS, Calif- Tonight was the deciding contest in the exciting semi-final series between the Arroyo Seco Sentinels and the Palm Springs POWER. The loser would be done for the summer and the winner would move on to the SCCBL championship series to play the San Diego Force.
Palm Springs gave Jumpei Akanuma the start, and that turned out to be the right decision. He went just over six innings, and in that time he gave up five hits and a walk, but also retired five on strikes and held the Sentinels scoreless. After tonight’s performance, the College of the Desert right-hander now has 43 strikeouts on the season.
While Akanuma was handling things on the mound, the usual barrage of POWER bats helped post a lead on Sentinels starter Scott Bellina. In the bottom of the first inning, Willie Bourbon drove in Brock Hale and John Mauldin scored on an error by Duncan McKinnon making the score 2-0 right off the bat. Bellina gave up one more run in the fourth after one of his pitches would get away from Zack Mausser, allowing Taylor Grace to score.
In the sixth inning, after Scott Bellina was relieved by lefty Henry Baker, Andrew Brown drove in Tayor Grace on a single to make the score 4-0.
Akanuma would give the ball to Bryan Menendez in the seventh who would work himself out of a jam after giving up two in the eighth.
Whatever momentum the Sentinels gained from Menendez, Gabe Gentner took it away, putting down the side in order in the top of the ninth. The appearance earned him his fifth save this season and secured Akanuma’s fifth win.
The POWER won the contest 4-2, and as a result, advance to their sixth-straight SCCBL championship series where they will face the San Diego Force. The POWER are 2-2 against San Diego in 2016, but Gabe Gentner seems confident in his team.
“If we just keep playing our game, I know we are going to be succussful”
Game one is scheduled for Friday at Madison High School at 4:30.