If Kaz Smith had his druthers, the Cimarron-Memorial baseball team would have clinched the Northwest League’s No. 1 seed against Centennial on Thursday.
But after that fell through, the Spartans’ senior catcher couldn’t think of a better chance than Senior Day.
Eleven Cimarron seniors celebrated their final league home game Monday with a 10-0 win over Legacy in six innings.
Though the Spartans could still share the Northwest title with Palo Verde, they wrapped up the league’s top seed for the Class 4A Sunset Region playoffs based on tiebreakers.
“We would have liked to clinch it when we played Centennial, of course, but on Senior Day, it’s pretty big,” Smith said. “Our parents are out here supporting us. It’s our last (league) home game, and we wanted to put on a show for our school.”
Smith put on a show of his own, going 3-for-3 with a home run and five RBIs. His three-run homer to center field with two outs in the first inning “kind of broke their back,” Cimarron coach Mike Hubel said.
“It was huge,” Hubel said of Smith’s performance. “He’s been hitting the ball hard but right at people. It’s big for him to come through like that.”
On Wednesday, the Spartans (25-5, 11-2) can clinch the league title outright with a win at Shadow Ridge or a Palo Verde loss at Legacy.
Legacy (18-7, 8-5) fell into a tie with Arbor View for the league’s fourth and final playoff spot. Both teams have one league game left, with tiebreakers undetermined.
The Longhorns walked Vicenzo Fresquez with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the sixth to score Taylor Doyle and end the game on the 10-run rule.
Still recovering from a strained oblique muscle that kept him off the mound for more than three weeks, Cimarron’s Brad Oswald pitched a six-hit shutout. The senior right-hander struck out three and walked two.
“It’s a big win,” Oswald said. “Everybody was here. It’s our last year, and you want to make it important and memorable, not only for yourself, but for your parents and everybody that’s supported you.”
Joey Lauria was 2-for-3 to lead Legacy, which lost its third straight.
Senior Day festivities aside, Oswald was relieved to get the win so the Spartans could avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.
“We took a step forward today,” he said. “We definitely didn’t want to take a step back going into the playoffs.”