The week began with uncertainty for Santa Ana Mater Dei's baseball playoff hopes, but it ended on Saturday with the Monarchs earning a Division 1 playoff berth by knocking off Servite, 2-1, to complete a three-game sweep of the Friars and finish in third place in the Trinity League.
Standout shortstop Brandon Perez, a USC signee, was asked to make his first start on the mound and he delivered a complete game, throwing a four-hitter. He's usually the closer but Coach Burt Call said, "We knew he would throw strikes and his competitive fire made us decide to go with him."
The Monarchs are starting to play well and they may soon get back their ace, Nick Pratto, injured since early in the season. Pratto made an appearance on Saturday in the field and came through with a pinch-hit RBI single.
Trinity League champion JSerra, expected to be the No. 1 seed in Division 1, defeated Santa Margarita, 8-7. A three-run home run by Christian Molfetta keyed the victory. Brady Shockey had three hits. Nick Plaskett had four hits and three RBIs for Santa Margarita, the defending Division 1 champs who failed to make the playoffs.
In the Big VIII League, Roosevelt defeated Corona Santiago, 4-3, in the completion of a suspended game that lasted 11 innings. Roosevelt qualifies for the Division 1 playoffs. In the Southwestern League, Murrieta Valley defeated Great Oak, 10-0.
In a City Section wild-card playoff game, Palisades defeated Sylmar, 2-0, behind pitcher Jed Moscot.