SOQUEL — The Capitola-Soquel Phillies have been in survival mode ever since the District 39 Majors Tournament of Champions started last week.
The Phillies survived to play another game after defeating the Scotts Valley Giants, 15-3, in four innings on Monday in the semifinals elimination game.
Capitola-Soquel had four players finish with multiple hits, including Chase Mowry, who went 3-for-4.
“We’re kind of playing at our peak right now,” said Phillies manager Mike Virgallito. “Being in the losers bracket is tough and we have to win seven straight-games to win it all.”
The Phillies began the tourney with a 9-8 loss against this same Giants team in the opening round, which sent them right into the “loser’s bracket.”
Since then, they’ve fought all the way up to today’s championship game.
Chase Mowry, right, of the Capitola-Soquel Phillies safely slides into second base during Monday's District 39 Majors TOC semifinals elimination game against the Scotts Valley Giants. (Juan Reyes — Register-Pajaronain)
They bounced back with a 10-2 win against Live Oak in the first elimination game, followed by an impressive 15-1 win against Watsonville American in the second round.
Capitola-Soquel went on to beat Aptos, a heavy favorite in the tourney, in the quarterfinals and edged San Lorenzo Valley in an 8-7 win to advance to the semis.
“Playing consecutive games has kept us sharp rather than waiting in the winner’s bracket,” Virgallito said. “They played as a complete team today and they’ve really progressed throughout the year.”
The Phillies had a 5-1 lead going into the third inning of Monday’s game. They continued to pour in the runs after Tyler Harway hit a 2 RBI triple that made it 9-1.
Noah Piona added another run with an RBI triple for Capitola-Soquel, which scored eight runs in the top of the third to take a 13-1 lead.
Scotts Valley managed to score two runs in the bottom half of the third but the deficit was too large to overcome.
The Phillies added two more runs in the fourth, while Mowry made the game-ending catch after chasing down a fly ball in deep left centerfield for the 15-3 win.
Derek Talavera of the Capitola-Soquel Phillies reaches third base during Monday's District 39 Majors TOC semifinals elimination game against the Scotts Valley Giants. (Juan Reyes — Register-Pajaronain)
Next up, the Phillies take on Pajaro Valley, which has a perfect 3-0 record going into the championship game.
The game will be at Capitola-Soquel Little League Majors Field with first pitch slated at 5:30 p.m. If the Phillies win, it’ll force a winner-take-all Game 2 on Wednesday.
Virgallito said having the home field advantage might be in their favor just a little bit since his players know how the all-dirt infield plays and are used to the artificial mound.
“We’re happy to be at home,” said Virgallito about the chance of being able to play on their home field for the championship game. “We’re just fortunate to be in the final after coming out of the loser’s bracket.”