Payne’s walk-off single to right-center field allowed Thousand Oaks (4-0) to remain undefeated despite a less-than-impressive day on the mound for a team known for its pitching. The Lancers, who allowed only four hits but issued nine walks, were pleased to show they are capable of winning in other ways, especially against a previously undefeated team that will soon be challenging Thousand Oaks for the Marmonte title. “That’s what the guys on our bench are capable of,” Lancers coach Frank Mutz said. “We’ve got four or five guys who can come in and deliver. It was just (Payne’s) turn today. I had confidence in him. … “We’d been talking and I told him his chance is going to come, just keep working and be ready. Now he’s back in there.” Thousand Oaks’ Kyle Jones tied the score with a solo home run in the sixth, and Jeff Johnson started the seventh-inning rally with his second double of the game. The late-game heroics were required after Calabasas (3-1) scored four runs in the fifth inning for a 6-5 lead. Mike La Rosa capped the Coyotes’ comeback from a 5-1 deficit with a three-run double to right after Thousand Oaks had walked the bases loaded. THOUSAND OAKS – Just a day earlier, Daniel Payne asked his coach what it would take for the senior to work his way back into the Thousand Oaks High baseball team’s lineup. On a team loaded with talent, Payne’s bat had cost him his starting job at first base. On Thursday, Payne’s hitting not only won him another shot at starting, but it also won the Lancers a spot in the championship game of the Easton Southern California Showdown tournament. Payne, who entered the game as a replacement for an injured teammate, drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 7-6 victory over visiting Calabasas. Thousand Oaks faces Marmonte League rival Newbury Park for the tournament title Saturday at UCLA. “It was pretty hard to sit on the bench and watch everyone play,” said Payne, who appeared in just one of his team’s first thrree games. “Coach just said to keep working hard. It feels really good, the hard work is paying off.” “We’d heard so much about how good Calabasas’ hitters are, I think we were being too careful,” Mutz said. “They weren’t going after ’em.” The Coyotes entered the game hitting .433 and having scored at least 12 runs in each of their first three games, including Monday’s upset of nationally ranked Chatsworth. Alex Kurland, who doubled twice, was Calabasas’ only player with multiple hits Thursday. The Coyotes’ lone hit through the first four innings was a solo home run by Adam Dong in the second inning. email@example.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!