His team scored five runs in the third inning. Wildomar Elsinore junior right-hander Connor Planchon made sure those would easily be more than enough.
Except for a sixth-inning hiccup, Planchon blanked host Nipomo as he pitched a complete game in the semifinals of the Nipomo Spring Classic Baseball Tournament Thursday. The Tigers beat the Titans 6-2 at Nipomo to move into the championship game.
The Tigers were to play Pool D winner La Habra Whittier Christian at 4 p.m. for the title. Whittier Christian routed Pool C winner St. Joseph 14-1 at St. Joseph in the other semifinal.
Elsinore (11-6) won Pool B. Nipomo (9-8) won Pool A.
Consistently keeping the ball low in the strike zone, Planchon usually kept the Titans from getting any consistent offense going. The Titans had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Planchon got Chandler Torres to fly to left to end it.
Nipomo sophomore right-hander Anthony Campos pitched 6 2/3 innings and he usually kept the Tigers in check himself. However, the Tigers got to him for five runs in the third as they snapped a scoreless tie.
Jacob Contreras got the Tigers rolling with an infield single. Elsinore eventually loaded the bases on a fielder's choice and a walk. Fred Morris got an RBI when Campos hit him with the first pitch he threw to him in the third.
Matt Ivanovich, who had drawn a walk, eventually scored on a passed ball. Dylan Clark, with the only extra-base hit of the game, doubled home two runs and later scored on a ground out.
Planchon was rolling along with a three-hitter when the bottom of the sixth began, but the Titans got on the board without an RBI hit that inning.
Ricky Iniguez singled his other three times up. When he led off in the bottom of the sixth, Planchon hit him on a 1-2 pitch. Iniguez subsequently scored on a passed ball.Torres, who followed with a single, eventually scored on a Lucas Ortega ground out.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Michael Lipold singled home the last Elsinore run. Campos and Nipomo starting right fielder Dominic De Los Santos swapped positions after Soren Oursler singled. De Los Santos got a strikeout for the third out.
Elsinore out-hit Nipomo 9-7.
Santa Ana Foothill 10, Pioneer Valley 2
Chad Castillo pitched a one-hit complete game, and the Knights (11-3) defeated the Panthers (3-10) in a Pool A game at Elks Field.
Pioneer Valley scored twice in the fifth, thanks in part to two errors and two walks. Joshua Navarro had Pioneer Valley's lone hit, a single.
Kyle Ashworth, Sean Higgins and Ryan Taurek all had two hits for Foothill. Carlos Cortez and Benjamin Sandoval scored for Pioneer Valley.
Pioneer Valley finished 1-2 in Pool A. Foothill was 2-0 in the tournament going into its pool game against Mission Hills Alemany later in the afternoon.
Championship semifinals set
The championship semis for the 14th edition of this tournament are set.
Santa Ana Foothill, the Pool A winner, will play Pool B winner Agoura Friday at 10 a.m. at Elks Field. Defending champion West Hills Chaminade, the Pool C winner, will play Pool D winner Manhattan Beach Mira Costa at 1 p.m. at Elks.
The championship game is set for 4 p.m. Friday at Elks Field.
Foothill won the tournament title in 2015 and 2016.