Because some of the teams in the Santa Cruz League didn't exactly field strong teams, second-year Bell-Jeff Coach John Castaneda scheduled a challenging nonleague schedule that included bigger schools and more competitive squads in order to get the Guards prepared for the playoffs.
The Phoenix (9-8), which placed third in the Majestic League, advanced to the first round after defeating Maricopa, 5-4, win a wild-card game Tuesday.
A win would put the Guards into a second-round game at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Bloomington Christian.
Rolling Hills Prep 7, Providence 0: The Pioneers saw their season come to an end Thursday in a first-round game of the CIF Southern Section Division VII playoffs on the road.
The Pioneers (10-12) placed second in the Liberty League and the Huskies (14-2) were the No. 2 team from the Costal League.
Quartz Hill 9, Burbank 1: The Bulldogs couldn't win the CIF Southern Section Division III wild-card game Tuesday on the road.
The Rebels (19-6-1) — the third-place team from the Golden League — scored all the runs they would need after pushing across five in the third inning.
Burbank (13-13) — the third-place team from the Pacific League — scored its lone run in the fourth inning.
Crean Lutheran 5, Bell-Jeff 1: The Guards were defeated Thursday in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division VI playoffs on the road.
The Guards (11-9) placed second in the Santa Fe League, while the Saints (17-7) were the second seed from the Academy League.
Guards' pitcher Matt Landini had eight strikouts in six innings.