REDLANDS › Taylor Fielding isn’t even listed on Hemet’s roster online.

   Rest assured, people will now know who he is.

   Fielding hit a tie-breaking bases-clearing triple in the fifth inning, as the Bulldogs stormed back from an early deficit to beat Redlands Citrus Valley, 9-3, in the first round of the CIFSS Division 5 playoffs.

   “I was ready to break this game open and get something started,” said Fielding, a junior outfielder. “I’m glad I could get my name out there.”

   Fielding made only 21 plate appearances during the regular season and hit just .235. But he got the start in right field for Hemet’s playoff opener, and rewarded the coaches’ faith 
in him by leading the Bulldogs to their first road playoff win in seven years.

   With the score tied 2-2 and the bases loaded with two outs, Fielding belted a 2-2 curveball to the warning track in right to score all three runs and give the Bulldogs (15-12) their first lead of the game.

   The triple, his first of the season, was the turning point in a stretch of nine consecutive runs by Hemet after it fell into a 2-0 deficit.

   “I’ve been playing hard and feeling like I’ve been hitting good,” he said. “It feels good to get the start and know the coaches trust in me.”

   The Blackhawks (19-8) opened the bottom of the first with four consecutive hits to grab the lead, but Hemet starter Sal Valenzuela 
shut them out the rest of the way, giving the Bulldogs ample time for a comeback.

   “I realized they were hitting my fastballs early, so I came back at them with my other stuff I have,” said Valenzuela, a senior righthander. “They’re a good fastball-hitting team. Once I started throwing my offspeed, good things happened.”

   Fielding made sure the effort wasn’t for naught, and the Bulldogs followed a five-run fifth with three runs in the sixth and another in the seventh.

   Yeager Taylor went 2 for 3 with three runs scored and Garrett McKee went 3 for 5 with a double and two runs to pace Hemet’s offense. Valenzuela went the distance for his eighth 
win of the season.

   Blake Davidson went 4 for 4 with two doubles to lead the Blackhawks, who reached the division title game last season.

   “We definitely didn’t plan on this,” Citrus Valley coach Ron Carmody said. “We weren’t looking ahead at all. You just have to tip your hat to Hemet. They hit the heck out of the ball.”


   Hemet's Taylor Fielding connects for a key bases-loaded, two-out triple against Citrus Valley during the fifth inning to give the Bulldogs a 5-2 lead on Friday. They won the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 first-round game, 9-3.

Hemet baserunner Yeager Taylor, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring to give the Bulldogs a 5-2 lead in a CIF-SS Division 5 playoff game Friday.

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