YUCAIPA >> Beckman’s baseball team had plenty of respect for Yucaipa and its retiring coach, Jeff Stout.
But in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs, there is no room for sentimentality.
The Patriots scored three runs in the first inning and three pitchers made it stand up in a 3-1 victory in a Division 2 wild-card game at Yucaipa High on Wednesday.
Beckman (21-6) advances to play at Baseline League champion Etiwanda in the first round Friday. Yucaipa’s season ends with an 18-11 record.
“When I heard we were playing Yucaipa, I didn’t need a scouting report. I knew they’d be very good and well-coached,” Beckman coach Kevin Lavalle said. “They’ve got a great tradition, which came from Coach Stout.”
Stout’s 41st season finished just short of career win 810.
Beckman scored three times in the first inning against Tyson Heaton, who remained in the game, settled down and pitched all seven innings.
Trailing 3-0 in the seventh, Heaton led off the inning with a homer to left against Zach Espinosa, who was replaced on the mound by Jared Platero.
Yucaipa got runners to second and third with two outs. That brought up leadoff hitter Cody Stevens, who walked to load the bases.
“I just didn’t get anything to hit,” he said.
“We got what we wanted,” Stout said. “We got Stevens and (Josh) Torrance up with runners on. I was sure Torrance was going to hit one in the gap, like his last at-bat.”
Torrance hit a dribbler in front of the plate and catcher Austin Schell pounced on it and threw out Torrance to end the game.
The final out ended a combined five-hitter for starter Collin Villegas, who pitched the first 3 2/3 innings, followed by Espinosa, who pitched until the seventh, and Platero.
Villegas came out after 50 pitches, which means he is eligible to pitch again Friday.
“He (Villegas) usually pitches in relief for us, but he often pitches twice in a week. We decided to change it up a little bit,” Lavalle said. “He struck out the batter on the 50th pitch. If he didn’t get the strikeout, we would’ve taken him out in the middle of…