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Villa Park baseball clinches CIF-SS playoff spot with victory over El Dorado

PLACENTIA >> The Villa Park baseball team clinched a spot in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs with a 5-0 victory over El Dorado on Wednesday in a Crestview League game at El Dorado High School.

The Spartans (19-2, 5-1), who are ranked No. 4 in Division 1 and No. 3 in Orange County, are in a first-place tie with Foothill and will finish no worse than second place, which guarantees them a playoff spot.

El Dorado (14-11, 1-5), ranked No. 9 in the county, and Villa Park conclude their league series Thursday at 3:15 pm at Villa Park.

The league title will likely be decided when Villa Park and Foothill meet in the final two league games of the regular season on April 26 and 28.

Villa Park junior left-hander Brandon Luu allowed three hits and walked two batters en route to his second shutout in a row.

Luu tossed a five-hit shutout in Villa Park’s 1-0 victory over Dana Hills in a nonleague game April 5.

“This was a huge game for us,” Luu said. “We were looking at this like a playoff game.”

The Golden Hawks came close to scoring in the second inning when they had a runner on third with one out. But Luu retired the next two hitters to keep the shutout alive.

Luu was in a similar situation in the seventh, with the Hawks having runners on first and third with one out, but he retired the next two hitters to close out the game.

Before getting the final two outs, Luu said he knew there was a relief pitcher warming up.

“I knew he wasn’t coming in,” Luu said. “I was finishing the job. I was going all seven today. It really shows my teammates that I am here to win the game for them.”

Villa Park scored a run in each of the first three innings, the first coming when Gavin Grahovac, who led off the game with a double, scored from third on a passed ball.

Grahovac, who went 2 for 3 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored, then doubled in Justin Tims for the Spartans’ second run in the second.

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