Armed with a fastball in the upper 80s and displaying an aggressive mentality learned from football season, left-hander Patrick Sandoval of Mission Viejo had no intention of leaving San Manuel Stadium on Saturday without a victory.
"I hate losing more than anything," he said. "I wanted to come out here and win a CIF championship for the coach."
Sandoval did his part, allowing two hits while striking out seven to help the Diablos (26-10) defeat Chino Hills, 3-1, in the Division 2 final.
Mission Viejo Coach Chris Ashbach has called his 2015 team "the best group of kids" he has been around in 18 years with the Diablos. They're unselfish and find ways to win.
Mission Viejo broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth, taking advantage of a throwing error and then getting a sacrifice fly from Matt Rhylick, who also had a run-scoring single earlier in the game.
Then, on defense, the Diablos made a double play to end the game, with shortstop Tyler Odekirk fielding the ball up the middle and touching second and first baseman Thomas Byrne catching the throw to end the game.
It was the second Southern Section title this school year for Sandoval, who was a receiver for the championship football team.
"Winning a CIF championship in football is special, but doing it with these guys ... nothing beats it," Sandoval said.
Redondo wins D3
From beginning to end, Redondo (29-7) dominated in defeating Walnut, 10-0, to win its first Division 3 championship.
Junior pitcher Cooper Gallion threw a two-hit shutout and was supported by a hitting attack that took advantage of early wildness from pitcher Cody Dye (9-1) to score five runs in the first inning.
Marco Valenzuela finished with two doubles and three runs batted in. Duncan McKinnon had a triple, a double and two RBIs. The Sea Hawks had 11 hits against a team that had knocked off unbeaten San Dimas in the semifinals.
Serrano wins on appeal
It was a strange delayed celebration, but Phelan Serrano still got what it wanted, a 2-1 win over South Torrance in the Division 4 championship game.
South Torrance thought it had escaped a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the seventh with a double play. But Serrano appealed to the umpires that on the throw to first, first baseman Matt Diederich's foot had come off the bag. After a short meeting, the umpires ruled the runner was safe and Serrano had won the game.
"It's part of sports," South Torrance Coach Grady Sain said of the umpire reversal. "That doesn't take away from the competitiveness of this game. Both sides weren't giving an inch."
Serrano took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on an RBI double by Saxon Andross. South Torrance tied it in the top of the seventh, scoring on an error.
R.J. Peace struck out six to pick up the win. Drake Pingel struck out nine in the loss.