By Aaron Valdez
As powerhouses Crescenta Valley and Arcadia hog up most of the Pacific League headlines, the Muir baseball team (13-7-1) continues to fly under the radar, finishing the regular season on a six-game win streak to help clinch its first playoff berth in 35 years.
The Mustangs turned out to be one of the most pleasant surprises in the grand scheme of Division 5 baseball. After losing five of its first eight games in league action, Muir caught fire during the second half of the season, winning its last three series against Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena.
The final two-game series against Pasadena last week boasted significant playoff implications, as the Bulldogs were only one game behind the Mustangs in the league standings. In the first game, Mustangs hurler Valente Vera put together a performance that would make angels blush. The senior tossed a complete game with five strikeouts en route to a 5-0 victory.
In the second leg of the series, Pasadena put up a better fight but the Bulldogs’ effort still wasn’t enough to stifle a determined Mustang squad as they lost 3-2. Muir placed third in the Pacific League standings, which earned them a first-round match-up with De Anza League champions Twentynine Palms (11-7-1) on Friday.