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The Central Coast has arrived.

Area baseball and softball teams made their first big statement this spring as members of the CIF Central Section.

On Wednesday, the first day of the Central Section baseball playoffs, Righetti, St. Joseph, Santa Maria, Nipomo, San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Templeton, Atascadero and Morro Bay all won their first-round games. 

In the Southern Section, Valley Christian Academy plays at Rancho Cucamonga's United Christian Academy in a Division 7 quarterfinal Friday. 

On Thursday, there were a slew of upsets in the softball semifinals, including in Division 1, with Paso Robles knocking off top-seeded Buchanan and Atascadero beating second seed Clovis North. Righetti nearly beat Clovis North in the first round Tuesday, falling 4-3.

In Division 3 softball, No. 2 seed Templeton cruised past Tulare Union 9-0, advancing to the semifinals. St. Joseph nearly knocked off Templeton on Tuesday, falling 2-1.

In Division 2, San Luis Obispo beat Bakersfield Independence 5-2 to advance to the semis, where the Tigers will play Hanford.  

Now, Central Coast baseball teams are just hoping to get their games in the next two days.

Santa Maria plays at Nipomo in a Division 3 quarterfinal. St. Joseph hosts Templeton, the No. 16 seed that knocked off top-seeded Selma, in another quarterfinal.

At press time, both those games were scheduled to be held Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Righetti has moved its quarterfinal against Bakersfield Liberty to Saturday at 2 p.m.

No. 16 Templeton at No. 8 St. Joseph

CIF-CS D3, quarterfinal, Friday, 4:30 p.m.

St. Joseph coach Ronnie Regalado, who's in his first season as a head coach, says the Knights will determine by 11 a.m. Friday if the game will be held later that afternoon. If there's been too much rain Friday morning, the game will likely be held Saturday at 1 p.m.

Templeton stunned No. 1 Selma in the biggest upset of the tournament in the first round. The Eagles won 4-1. 

In St. Joseph's 4-3 win over Bakersfield Ridgeview on Wednesday, Noah Skarda scored the game-ending run on a wild pitch in the eighth inning. 

The Knights used Alex Ontiveros over eight innings in the win. Skarda closed out the game. Ontiveros has been the Knights' No. 1 pitcher, with 66 innings and 82 strikeouts with a 1.50 ERA. 

The Knights may go with Hunter Barnhart to start the game. Barnhart has a 1.68 ERA in 16 2/3 innings. Matt Melena has also been a reliable starter for the Knights.

No. 15 Santa Maria at No. 10 Nipomo

CIF-CS D3, quarterfinal, Friday, 4:30 p.m.

As the No. 10 seed, Nipomo certainly didn't expect to have a home game in the quarterfinals.

Santa Maria, the No. 15 seed, probably didn't expect to be playing in the quarterfinal round.

Santa Maria, though, knocked off the No. 2 seed Reedley Immanuel Eagles 3-0 and here we are.

The Saints and Titans faced each other twice during the Ocean League season, with the teams splitting the pair.

Santa Maria Tommy Herrera against Immanuel and he allowed only an infield single. The Saints (12-14) racked up 13 hits. Herrera drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Nipomo had an easy time against Kerman in a 10-2 win as Ricardo Rodriguez pitched a four-hit complete game.

Tugboat Hernandez hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning. He drove in three runs on the day.

Nipomo beat Santa Maria 4-1 on April 16. The Saints have a 10-3 win over Nipomo from March 19. 

No. 5 Bakersfield Liberty at No. 4 Righetti

CIF-CS D1, quarterfinal, Saturday, 2 p.m.

The biggest factor in the second game of the postseason? Pitching depth.

That's what could determine Righetti's quarterfinal outcome after the Warriors used ace Caleb Dulay in their 5-3 win over Bakersfield Centennial in the first round. 

Dulay improved to 10-0 on the season, though his ERA went up from 0.58 to 0.63 after the win. 

Ryan Delgado or Isaiah Navarro are both good candidates to get the ball to start Saturday's game. Delgado lifted the Righetti offense with a game-winning two-run homer in the sixth inning on Wednesday. Delgado then allowed one run in the seventh inning to close out the win in relief. 

On the season, Delgado, a junior, is 6-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 43 2/3 innings. Navarro is 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 18 2/3 innings.

Liberty is 24-6 on the season. 

Sophomore Jacob Tobias leads the team with a .457 average and has driven in 47 runs this year. Another sophomore, Kaleb Dickey, is second on the team with 45 RBIs and .441 batting average.

Brock Barron and Nick Oscarson have each thrown around 60 innings this season and could be employed against Righetti Saturday.

Track and field

Orcutt Academy's Josiah DeBruno finished second in the triple jump at the CIF Central Section West Area Meet in Lemoore on Wednesday.

He hit 44 feet, 5 inches. The mark should qualify DeBruno for the CIF Central Section Finals, set for May 18 at Clovis Buchanan High School.

Max Daniels is on the alternate list in the long jump and 400 meters, 

Sarah Parkinson is likely a third alternate after hitting a 13.1 second time in the 100-meter dash, setting a school record.

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Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at jbailey@leecentralcoastnews.com or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jbaileysmsports

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