If you ask the Redondo baseball team what’s better than one Dalquist the answer would be two, and both were on display Friday.
Senior Drew Dalquist went the first six innings against Oaks Christian and left with a two-run lead after 103 pitches and younger brother Matthew entered in the seventh to protect a two-run lead.
“These are good spots to get me ready for next year,” Matthew Dalquist said. “I just try to keep calm, throw strikes and hope good things happen.”
After allowing a lead-off walk, Dalquist retired the next two batters before another walk, but eventually got the final out to preserve the 5-3 victory for the Sea Hawks in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 quarterfinals.
Redondo (24-9) will host Santa Margarita on Tuesday in the semifinals.
“He’s pitched in relief in two Mira Costa games and in three CIF playoff games and he’s been phenomenal in all of them,” Redondo coach Andy Diver said of the younger Dalquist. “He’s super competitive.”
Redondo took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth on Mason Grace’s RBI-double.
A big moment developed in the top of the fifth. With runners on and first and second, Oaks Christian’s Rylan Thomas drilled a single to the right-center, easily scoring one run. A second run, however, was cut down at the plate thanks to a perfect relay throw from Liam Critchett to Grace, who applied the tag. Instead of tying the score at 3-3, Redondo held a 3-2 lead.
“We got the ball in quick, put the tag down on him,” Grace said. “It was kind of a bang-bang play, I thought I got the tag on him and we got the out.”
In the bottom of the fifth, Christian Dicochea just missed out on a two-run home run, settling for an RBI double, and Theo Forshey followed with an RBI-single for the 5-2 lead.
“I thought their guy in relief (Brandon Madrigal) was really good,” Diver said. “Kind of a late-live fastball that got up on you and he had the ability to throw some sliders to neutralize our hitters a little bit … we were clutch. I said to myself, if we score five (runs) today, I think we can win, and five was enough, barely.”
Now the Sea Hawks find themselves one game away from playing for a CIF title.
“They’ll be off this weekend and we’ll practice Monday with the same kind of energy and excitement that they’ve had for the last two months,” Diver said. “One game at a time. We have to play 21 outs against a really good Santa Margarita team and we’ll see what happens … I love that we’re playing at home.”