Saturday, June 5
SOUTHERN SECTION CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Dodger Stadium
Arlington 4, Long Beach Wilson 3
Nothing came easy for the Riverside Arlington baseball team this season. Especially its run through the Southern Section Division I playoffs.
The Lions sweated through their fifth consecutive one-run victory Saturday night, holding on to defeat Long Beach Wilson, 4-3, at Dodger Stadium for its second title in the last three years.
Lucas Duda was called on to close for the fifth consecutive time and the USC-bound right-hander navigated his way through a difficult sixth inning before retiring the side in the seventh.
Arlington (21-10) collected 10 hits and scored four runs in the first four innings but couldn't shake the Bruins (23-10-1), who scored two runs in the bottom of the first to tie the score, 2-2, then added a single run off Duda in the sixth to cut the deficit to one.
Duda also helped with his bat, hitting the second pitch of the game into the left-center field gap for a double and later scoring on one of two errors by Wilson shortstop Johnny Jimenez.
Arlington starter Steve Goins (5-4) had a shaky start, walking the first two batters he faced before they both scored on single by Preston Suttie.
Goins then retired eight straight batters. He was greeted by back-to-back singles at the start of the fourth inning, putting runners on the corners, but got Andrew Zea to pop out to second and then picked off Ryan Schlack at first.
Arlington 200 200 0 -- 4 10 0
Wilson 200 001 0 -- 3 5 3
Goins, Duda (6) and Billington; Schlack, Dent (6) and Kaut. WP-Goins (5-4). LP-Schlack (11-5). Sv-Duda (7) 2B-Duda (A).
Records: Arlington (21-10); Wilson (23-10-1).
Simi Valley 5, El Dorado 4
The Southern Section baseball playoffs ended much like they began for Simi Valley.
With a bang.
The Pioneers captured the program's first section title Saturday when Placentia El Dorado pinch-runner Casey Vidovich was thrown out at home on an attempted double steal, preserving a 5-4 victory in the Division II championship game at Dodger Stadium.
Dylan Gaughen, who hit the first pitch of the playoffs for a home run nearly three weeks ago, earned the save for Simi Valley (27-7), despite walking four batters in the seventh and allowing another run to score on a wild pitch.
Gaughen's fourth base on balls put runners on the corners with two out and the No. 8 hitter, senior shortstop Michael Olsen, at the plate. Because Olsen had struck out twice and walked in his previous plate appearances, El Dorado Coach Steve Gullotti decided it was a good time to call for the double steal. He said the timing was disrupted when Simi Valley junior catcher Bryan Anderson double pumped on his throw to shortstop Ben Orloff and Vidovich then broke late for home.
"We worked on that play for 10 minutes yesterday,'' Gullotti said. "If it works, I'm a genius.''
Anderson had two singles and two walks twice to help the Pioneers to a 5-2 lead heading into the seventh. Gaughen, who had thrown 13 1/3 innings of relief in Simi Valley's three previous playoff victories, walked the first two batters on eight pitches on went to full counts on the next four before getting the final out.
"My arm wasn't 100% but this team battled,'' Gaughen said.
Chris Taylor doubled, tripled and walked to lead the Golden Hawks (22-10).
El Dorado 000 011 2 -- 4 6 1
Simi Valley 011 201 x -- 5 9 2
Pettikas and Taylor; Roe, Gaughen (7) and Anderson. W-Roe (12-2); L-Pettikas (10-5). 2B-Taylor (ED); Schultze (SV), Giarraputo (SV). 3B-Taylor (ED).
Records: Simi Valley (27-7); El Dorado (22-10).
Katella 3, Crespi 0
Anaheim Katella, a team that entered the playoffs with a 13-13 record and was a long-shot pick to reach Dodger Stadium, came away with a Southern Section Division III championship Saturday by knocking off top-seeded Encino Crespi, 3-0.
The Knights scored all their runs in the first inning with two out off losing pitcher Trevor Plouffe (12-2). Ethan Haller, batting .274, supplied the key hit, a two-run, two-strike double.
Sean Kalmen (8-3) threw a seven-hit shutout, his third of the playoffs. He faced the dangerous Plouffe three times, striking him out twice and getting him to fly out the third time.
Katella (18-13) had not reached a championship game since 1972. Crespi (27-5) was trying to win its second consecutive Division III title. Katella finished with 10 hits and made only one error.
"After the first couple of pitches, you could see we were going to be in trouble," Crespi Coach Scott Muckey said. "They did a good job with their at-bats."
Katella 300 000 0 -- 3 10 1
Crespi 000 000 0 -- 0 7 3
Kalmen and Birkes; Plouffe and Santoro. W-Kalmen (8-3). LP-Plouffe (12-2). 3B-Reyes (K). 2B-E. Haller (K).
Corona del Mar 3, Tesoro 1
Blake Contant, a lanky 6-foot-3 left-hander, made pitching at Dodger Stadium look easy Saturday morning, throwing a three-hitter to help Corona del Mar win the Southern Section Division IV championship with a 3-1 victory over Rancho Santa Margarita Tesoro.
"Being out here is breathtaking," said Contant (12-2), who struck out three, walked none and retired 11 of the final 12 batters.
Corona del Mar (25-5) defeated Pacific Coast League rival Tesoro (20-11) for the fourth time this season to win its third section baseball title in school history and finish the season with a 17-game winning streak..
The Sea Kings broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning on run-scoring singles by Tyler Lance and Jeritt Thayer. They had loaded the bases with none out against losing pitcher Bryan Evans (8-5)
Except for some first-inning nervousness, Contant was in complete control. Set to walk-on at the University of Arizona this fall, Contant let his fielders do much of the work. Center fielder Parker Ferguson had three catches and right fielder Wess Presson had two.
"Stay calm and not let the atmosphere overwhelm you," Contant said of his strategy. "I felt great in the bullpen before the game. I was hitting my spots."
Added Coach John Emme: "That's Blake. He's what you try to teach kids to be on the mound. He's a craftsman."
Tesoro, only in its fourth year of existence, scored its only run in the first-inning on an RBI single by Nik Nelson, who finished with two of his team's three hits. Thayer and Barrett Sprowl had two hits apiece for Corona del Mar.
Tesoro 100 000 0 -- 1 3 3
Corona del Mar 100 200 x -- 3 8 1
Evans, Trujillo (6) and Torrie; Contant and Marin-Finn. W-Contant (12-2). L-Evans (8-5). 2B-Nelson (T), Sprowl (CdM).
Friday, June 4
SOUTHERN SECTION CHAMPIONSHIPS
At UC Irvine
Ontario Christian 7, Riverside Woodcrest Christian 4
Ontario Christian scored seven runs on five errors in the bottom of the third and went on to win the title in its first final appearance.
The Knights (23-4) took a 1-0 lead on a successful squeeze play in the third, then took advantage of four errors on the next two fair balls to score four additional runs. The big blow came when Mike Pugliese singled to right field with runners on first and second and all three scored on two successive throwing errors and a botched backup.
The fourth-seeded Royals (22-7) answered with three runs in the top of the fourth, two coming home on the first of two triples by Greg Armenta, who also scored twice.
Woodcrest Christian appeared headed for an early lead, putting runners on second and third with one in the first. Jered Gerson then looped an opposite-field single to left, but Adam Johnston fielded the ball on one hop and threw lead runner Greg Armenta out on a close play at home. Mike Duarte then flied out deep to right to end the threat.
WOODCREST CHR......000 301 0 -- 4 10 5 ONTARIO CHR.............007 000 x -- 7 8 2
Knapp, Topp (4) and Alonzo; Liebhart and Pugliese. W-Liebhart (6-1); L-Knapp (12-3). 2B-OC: Trabbie, Pugliese. 3B-WC: Armenta 2. Records-OC (23-4); WC (22-7).
Santa Clarita Christian 9, Joshua Springs 6
The Cardinals scored five runs off five errors in the bottom of the third at UC Irvine and held on against top-seeded Joshua Springs in the first section final appearance for both programs.
Starting pitcher Augie Detres had one of two hits in the third for Santa Clarita Christian, doubling in Nick Dashnaw for a 3-2 advantage the Cardinals (17-6) would never relinquish.
Dashnaw did not allow a run in five innings Tuesday in a 9-1 semifinal victory over Big Pine, but could not get an out after taking over for Detres (8-2) in the seventh with Santa Clarita Christian holding a five-run lead. He was pulled after Christopher Bridenstine's run-scoring single cut the lead to 9-6 and kept the bases loaded.
Trevor McCaslin then replaced Dashnaw and got Jake Welchel to line into a double play and Nickolas Lyneis to ground out to third to end the game.
Detres finished with three of his team's nine hits.
Anthony Virga and Nathan Rynning had two hits each for the Lightning (24-4).
JOSHUA SPRINGS...........200 020 2 -- 6 7 8
SANTA CLARITA CHR......015 102 x -- 9 9 5
Rynning, Virga (6) and Krapivkin; Detres, Dashnaw (7), McCaslin (7) and McCaslin, Detres (7). W-Detres (8-2); L-Rynning (8-3). S-McCaslin (1). 2B-JS: Rynning; SCC: Detres 2. Records-SCC (17-6); JS (24-4).
Saturday at Dodger Stadium
Tesoro (20-10) vs. Corona del Mar (24-5), 10 a.m.
Katella (17-13) vs. Crespi (27-4), 1 p.m.
Simi Valley (26-7) vs. El Dorado (22-9), 4:30 p.m.
Long Beach Wilson (23-9-1) vs. Arlington (20-10), 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 1
SOUTHERN SECTION PLAYOFFS
Arlington 1, Capistrano Valley 0
Riverside Arlington Coach Gary Rungo didn't hesitate when it appeared time to summon Lucas Duda into pitch Tuesday night.
Never mind that starter Daniel Montanez was 15 outs into a one-hit gem against third-seeded Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley in a Southern Section Division I semifinal. It was time for Duda to make his presence known.
Duda answered the call by retiring the final six outs in order to preserve a 1-0 victory and send the Lions to the championship game for the third time in six years.
It was the fourth consecutive save of the playoffs for Duda, a USC-bound senior, and Arlington's fourth straight one-run victory. The Lions (20-10) will meet Long Beach Wilson in Saturday night's championship at Dodger Stadium.
``Every pitch of the playoffs has been like Armegeddon,'' Rungo said.
After the Lions scored their only run on a two-out, bases-loaded single by Ryan O'Connell in the fourth, the visiting Cougars put together their best scoring opportunity in the sixth.
Bryan Donoho was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, causing Rungo to summon Duda. Donoho took third on a wild pitch and a sacrifice, bringing Jason Corder to the plate with one out. However, Duda got Corder, who came into the game with 14 home runs on the season, to ground out to third and Steve Rodriguez to pop out to second to escape the jam.
``He has a vision in his eyes,'' Rungo said. ``He wants the ball.''
Capistrano Valley senior right-hander Kevin Stedman had three walks and two hit batters through first five innings and allowed the leadoff batter to reach base four times. He paid for it in the fourth, when Jeremiah Mejia led off with an infield single, Nick Urban drew a one-out walk and John Sandoval followed with an opposite field single just out of reach of shortstop Joe Zeller. After freshman pinch-hitter Faustino Delgado struck out, O'Connell followed with another opposite field single to left to drive in Mejia.
Stedman got Capistrano Valley's first hit on the opening pitch of the fifth inning, but the Cougars (22-7-1) could not get pinch-runner Brian McConkey into scoring position before he was picked off first by Montanez. McConkey failed to advance on a wild pitch that rolled about 15 feet behind Arlington catcher Thomas Billington, and pinch-hitter Grady McConnell then failed to make contact on a sacrifice bunt attempt.
After McConkey was picked off on the next pitch, McConnell was robbed of a base hit by diving second-baseman Steve Goins for the second out.
Long Beach Wilson 4, Canyon Springs 0
The Bruins managed just three hits but took advantage of six walks, three passed balls and two errors to advance to the Division I final Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.
Freshman right-hander Ryan Dent (2-1) shut out Canyon Springs for the first 5 1/3 innings before senior Ryan Schlack retired the final five batters at Blair Field in Long Beach.
The Bruins (23-9-1) scored without the benefit of a hit in the top of the first inning. Johnny Jimenez drew a one-out walk, took second on an errant pick-off attempt by catcher Derek Kennedy and third on a passed ball. Canyon Springs starter Chris Urias then struck out Schlack for the apparent final out, but the ball got away from Kennedy, allowing Jimenez to score.
Schlack reached base on an error in the fourth and later scored an unearned run on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Kaut. He added to the lead with another sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Wilson, which will be trying to win the program's first Southern Section title since 1950, also stole five bases, including a double steal that set up its final run on a passed ball.
Simi Valley 8, Corona Santiago 7
With one dramatic swing, Dylan Gaughen turned almost certain defeat into victory, hitting a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning to wipe out a three-run deficit and lift the Pioneers in a Southern Section Division II semifinal game at Simi Valley.
Gaughen picked up the pitching victory with three innings of shakey relief, relying more on adrenaline after throwing 10 1/3 innings in the last two playoff games. "I've never been so tired after a baseball game," he said.
Santiago (23-6) had overcome deficits of 2-0 and 4-2 to take a 7-4 lead behind strong hitting by the bottom of its order. The Nos. 6 through 9 batters combined for eight of the Sharks' 10 hits, led by Tyler Fontanilla, who had three hits, and sophomore Tyler Hoechlin, who had a single and an RBI double.
Simi Valley (26-7) will play Placentia El Dorado in Saturday's Division II final at 4:30 p.m. at Dodger Stadium. Both started the playoffs as wild-card entrants. Simi Valley will be making its first final appearance since losing to Anaheim Esperanza in the 1993 Division I championship game.
El Dorado 3, Hart 2 (8 innings)
Brandon Schnebly scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Matt Flaig in the bottom of the eighth to lead host El Dorado (22-9), which got out-hit, 7-3, by Hart (18-12-1). Zach Pettikas gave up three hits and no runs and struck out in the final three innings for the Golden Hawks.
In the top of the seventh, Robert Van Scoyoc had a chance to break a 2-2 tie on Matt Valaika's single, but in an attempt to maneuver around catcher Chris Taylor, Van Scoyoc missed the plate and was consequently tagged out.
El Dorado took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning on a walk, a hit batter and two singles. Hart tied the game in the fifth, scoring once on an error and another run on a sacrifice fly.
Crespi 7, La Mirada 6
Trevor Plouffe went two for three with three RBIs, including a bases-loaded, two-run single up the middle to drive in the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the seventh, for top-seeded Crespi (27-4). Plouffe (12-1) came in the sixth and got the win, giving up one hit and no runs. Sean Camacho, who had two doubles, scored the tying run for the Celts. La Mirada finishes the season 23-9.
Katella 4, Orange Lutheran 3
Sean Kalman broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI single in the bottom of the third inning, and shut down the Lancers over the final three innings from the mound to earn the save as the host Knights (17-13) defeated their Empire League rivals at Boysen Park.
Kalman went two for three and scored a run for Katella. Kalman is seven for nine at the plate in the playoffs and has two wins and a save in the postseason as well.
Ethan Haller added a two-run double for Katella, which won for the third time in four tries against Lutheran (21-10) this season.
Corona del Mar 6, Northwood 5
Corona del Mar's Wess Presson scored on a fielder's choice with one out in the top of the seventh to tie the game, 5-5, and Tyler Lance scored the game-winner on Dan Marin-Finn's two-out, two-strike single for the third-seeded Sea Kings (24-5), who beat Pacific Coast League rival Northwood (20-11) for the fourth time this season.
Blake Contant (11-2) pitched two innings of hitless relief to pick up the victory and Jeritt Thayer went four for four with a run scored and an RBI for Corona del Mar, which trailed, 3-0, after the first inning before tying the game, 4-4, in the third.
Northwood took a 5-4 lead with one out in the fourth inning on a run-scoring fly ball from Sean MacDonald. Brian DeLoach (5-3) went the distance for the Timberwolves.
Tesoro 4, Westminster La Quinta 1
Justin Napora hit a two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie and help unseeded Tesoro (20-10) upset top-seeded La Quinta (28-2-1) and advance to the finals in the school's second varsity season.
Napora's home run came on a 2-2 count with against La Quinta reliever Adam Jorgenson, who entered the game with a 13-1 record and had 118 strikeouts in 78 innings this season. Jorgenson had relieved Aztec starter Brandon Laird (9-1), who left after 3 2/3 innings and suffered his first defeat.
Tesoro starter Tony Trujillo (9-2) allowed five hits and a run in five innings to pick up the victory and Bryan Evans pitched the final two innings to earn the save.
Evans doubled and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Derek Craddock with one out in the first inning to give Tesoro a 1-0 lead. Nick Brennan scored during a rundown in the fourth inning for La Quinta (28-2-1).
Ontario Christian 8, L.A. Baptist 1
Sophomore Jon Totten (8-1) threw a one-hitter with six strikeouts and gave up no earned runs to lead host Ontario Christian (22-4). Jeff Stark went two for two with a single and a double and two runs scored and Phil Belko went two for three with two runs scored, including stealing home to give the Knights (22-4) a 1-0 edge during a three-run rally in the first. The Knights also scored three runs in the fourth inning. Ontario Christian will play on Thursday against Woodcrest Christian in its first championship appearance in baseball since the school first opened 60 years ago. L.A. Baptist ends the season 17-9.
Woodcrest Christian 5, Montclair Prep 3 (8 innings)
Fourth-seeded Woodcrest Christian improves to 22-6. Host Montclair Prep finishes 19-10.
Joshua Springs 8, Mesa Grande Academy 3
Anthony Virga went four for four and drove in four runs and pitched an eight-hitter with four strikeouts to lead the top-seeded Lightning (20-3) into Thursday's title game. Visiting Joshua Springs also got three hits apiece from Jake Welchel and Nick Lyneis. Mesa Grande Academy finishes the season 16-10.
Santa Clarita Christian 9, Big Pine 1
Orlandi Pena had two hits and Nick Dashnaw had a single and three RBIs for Santa Clarita Christian (16-6) at third-seeded Big Pine (23-3). Dashnaw (7-3) allowed two hits with five strikeouts in five innings for the Cardinals. Jose Rico scored on a groundout in the sixth inning and allowed five hits with five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings for host Big Pine.