The Dunn School’s Ethan Cloyd had the kind of day Thursday of which most people can only dream.
He did it all — pitched, hit and played stellar defense — in leading the Earwigs’ to a school record 15th straight victory.
Dunn rolled past the Palmdale Knight Hawks 14-1 in a CIF Southern Section Division 5 first round playoff game in Los Olivos.
Dunn (19-3, 6-0 Coast Valley League) is the No. 2 seed in the division. Knight (13-11) was the No. 15 seed after a third-place finish in the Golden League.
Cloyd pitched a one-hit complete game with nine strikeouts, including striking out the side in the first and the final two players of the game.
He was also 4-for-5 at the plate with a double, two home runs with eight runs batted in while playing flawlessly in the field.
“I’m very pleased with his performance,” said Dunn head coach David Lawrence. “On offense, defense and on the mound — he took command of the game right from the beginning and never let up.”
The Hawks’ lone hit was a Cody Turner solo home run in the top of the sixth inning with Dunn up 10-0 at the time.
“I had a 3-1 count and didn’t want to walk the guy,” said Cloyd, who didn’t issue any walks. “I slowed the ball down a bit and he punched it.”
Cloyd’s home runs, a two-run shot in the fifth and a three-run bomb in the sixth, both went to the same spot just over the 330-foot banner on the left field fence.
“The first home run was kind of a cheeky bomb. I put it in the air and the wind took it out,” said Cloyd. “The second one — there was no doubt that one was gone.”
One defense, Cloyd was a perfect 4-for-4.
Cloyd covered first base and got the putout when John Olujich hit a grounder deep to Dunn first baseman Ian Valdez to end the second inning, he fielded an infield popup and nailed the lead runner at second with a strike to shortstop Brandon Lawrence in the fourth, and on back-to-back plays just before Turner’s homer, Cloyd fielded hard grounders back to the mound and threw the runners out — the second one bouncing off Cloyd’s leg before he recovered and made the throw.
“It bounced hard off my foot, but I’m okay,” said Cloyd. “It hurt pretty bad but I’ll be fine.”
After Cloyd struck out the side in the first, the Earwigs wasted no time in grabbing the lead.
John San Jule walked and raced from first to home on Cloyd’s double.
After a passed ball allowed Cloyd to advance to third base, he came home on Cade Ford’s sacrifice bunt.
Cloyd got his second RBI in the second inning after Aiden Waters walked, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on Cloyd’s ground out.
Dunn exploded for five runs in the fourth inning.
Waters was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and San Jule walked.
Cloyd knocked in Waters, his third RBI, with a single to left.
Brandon Lawrence got aboard on an error, scoring San Jule and Cloyd and then Ford cleared the bases with a home run blast directly over the 350-foot banner in center field.
Dunn hadn’t recorded an out in the inning and Knight head coach Matthew Winck replaced Turner, his starting pitcher, with Damien Vega. Although Vega gave up back-to-back singles to Valdez and Ben Abelman, he got out of the jam with a ground out followed by a double play.
The Earwigs scored twice in the fifth after San Jule led off with a double and Cloyd hit the first of his home runs for his fourth and fifth RBI.
Dunn's Ethan Cloyd covers first base to get the putout on a ground ball by John Olujich in Thursday's CIF-SS Division 5 first round playoff ba…
Dunn added another four in the sixth, three on Cloyd’s second home run and the fourth after Lawrence walked and later scored on an error.
Dunn is on the road for its next game, a second round matchup Tuesday against the Orange Vista Coyotes in Perris.
Orange Vista, the No. 2 team from the Sunbelt League, defeated River Valley No. 3 team Jurupa Valley 4-2 on Thursday.
“Fifteen in a row and we broke the record, and I got my first playoff win as a head coach,” said Lawrence. “Now we just have to keep the steak going.”
"All I can say is, 'you don't want to run into the Dunn Earwigs,'" said Cloyd.