If Poly is to hold up as the No. 1 seed and claim the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 championship Saturday afternoon, they will have beaten one of the hottest teams of this postseason.
Moreno Valley has won 17 consecutive games heading into their showdown with the Panthers at noon at UC Riverside.
The Vikings are 22-7 overall, and finished 15-0 in the Mountain Valley League, and in league play, Moreno Valley outscored its opponents by a margin of 168-9.
They punched their ticket to the title game with an 8-7 victory over Silverado on Tuesday.
Poly (26-3) has cruised all season and they went 12-0 on their way to another Prep League championship.
The Panthers outscored their league foes by 101 runs.
Matt Queen, Matt Loomis and Franco Alonso are all set to go if called upon for first-year coach Mack Paciorek’s Panthers.
Queen is already 3-0 this playoff season and has yet to surrender a run.
Queen has walked 5 and struck out 24.
Offensively, Franco Alonso has a team-best eight postseason hits, including a double and two triples.
He’s driven in a team-high eight RBIs, and the junior is 1-0 on the mound with a 3.50 ERA over his six innings, including 10 strikeouts.
Several Poly players have played huge roles, especially offensively.
That includes David Mathias, Ty Evans and Jackson Hayes, who have each racked up six hits apiece.
Mathias, a stud freshman, has four doubles, he’s scored four times, and driven in four runs.
Hayes has doubled twice, scored five times and driven in four.
Evans has a double, triple, four RBIs and four runs.
Joe Masters has added five hits, a pair of doubles, he’s scored four times and driven in three runs.
Ben Bryson has three hits, including a double, two runs scored and an RBI.
Cameron McFarlane also has contributed four hits, which include a double, four RBIs and he’s scored four times.
Matt Queen has 4 hits, and it includes a double, triple and home run.
The senior has scored five times and driven in four runs.
Ryan Clayton has provided four hits, including a double, three runs scored and an RBI.
Sean Tibay has two singles and a double this postseason.
Matt Loomis has gone four innings on the mound and allowed two runs over his four innings pitched.
The senior right hander has walked five and fanned seven.
Poly enters the title tilt on a six-game win streak.
Moreno Valley’s all-around stud is Jacob Curiel.
The Vikings senior is 8-0 on the mound with a 1.92 ERA.
He’s walked 20 and struck out 52 over his 40 innings pitched this season.
Curiel also leads Moreno Valley in hitting.
He’s batting .451 with 37 hits, 35 runs scored, 18 RBIs, nine doubles and three triples.
Noah Flores is hitting .383, with 31 hits, 29 runs and 22 RBIs.
Gustavo DeJesus has driven in a team-best 27 runs and is hitting .307 with 23 hits and 13 runs scored.
David DeJesus has 30 hits, 20 runs scored and 24 RBIs, all while hitting .357.
Anthony Silvas is the second best pitcher (statistically), having gone 7-1 on the mound with a 1.37 ERA.
Silvas has walked 19 and struck out a team-best 65 batters.
If the Panthers escape with a victory, it will have been a great day for Pasadena area baseball.
With La Salle and Maranatha facing off in the CIF-SS Division 3 finals at 10 a.m. at Cal State Fullerton, obviously one of the Pasadena schools there will win a championship.
Which leads to the question, will Poly make it two?
Regardless if they win or lose, one thing we feel safe predicting is that with so much senior leadership and experience, the Panthers won’t be fazed by the sights and sounds of a big game on a college baseball field.
CIF-SS Division 6 Playoff Scores:
May 17: Moreno Valley 11, Adelanto 6
May 17: Poly 13, South El Monte 1
May 22: Moreno Valley 6, Patriot 2
May 22: Poly 9, Azusa 1
May 25: Moreno Valley 1, St. Bernard 0
May 25: Poly 10, Ganesha 4
May 29: Moreno Valley 8, Silverado 7
May 29: Poly 7, Pomona 1
June 2: Poly vs Moreno Valley at UR Riverside at Noon