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Southern Section Baseball Playoffs : Simi Valley Wins on Home Run in Ninth

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For the third straight time in the Southern Section’s 4-A playoffs, Simi Valley High School used its last at-bat to pull out a dramatic win. In Friday’s quarterfinals, the Pioneers rallied to defeat Ocean View of Huntington Beach, 3-2, on Scott Sharts’ 410-foot home run leading off the ninth inning.

Simi Valley (26-3), ranked No. 1 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball Magazine and USA Today, plays Anaheim Esperanza, a 7-2 winner at Rowland, in the semifinals next Tuesday.

Simi left-hander Scott Radinsky struck out 11 batters, allowed only two hits in nine innings to improve his record to 14-1, and had a no-hitter for 5 innings.

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In another 4-A game, lefty Scott Holcomb pitched six no-hit innings and settled for a two-hit shutout as Placentia El Dorado beat Camarillo, 3-0.

At Fontana, No. 2-seeded Lakewood fell behind 7-1, but had an opportunity to win with runners on second and third with two outs in the seventh inning before reliever Charlie Solano got Jeff Bowman to fly out and secure a 7-5 win for Fontana. The Steelers (18-7) face El Dorado (22-5) in the other 4-A semifinal.

In 3-A action, Lompoc turned five hits, nine walks and four La Verne Damien errors into a 8-6 win at Damien. Bill Bentley’s two-run homer in the third inning put Lompoc ahead, 6-0, but Damien scored four runs in the fifth and one each in the sixth and seventh to make it close.

Lompoc will play Oxnard Rio Mesa, a 6-1 winner over Covina Edgewood.

Mark Tramberg drove a Steve Surico fastball over the left-centerfield fence for a three-run homer in the top of the first to give Anaheim Western all its runs in a 3-1 victory at Tustin.

El Segundo beat Fullerton, 9-4, in the other 3-A quarterfinal and will face Western in the semifinals.

In the 2-A, Brendan Murphy lined a two-out, RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning, earning Mission Viejo a 3-2 victory over No. 1-seeded and defending champion Diamond Bar. The win avenged a 3-2 loss to the Brahmas in last year’s 2-A championship game.

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Mission Viejo (19-6), third-place finishers in the South Coast League, will play Artesia, which got homers from Mike Lau and Ron Gossage in a 6-3 win over SCL champion Irvine at Artesia.

The other 2-A semifinal matches Saugus, a 7-3 winner over Riverside Norte Vista, and Montclair, which rallied in the seventh inning to beat Norwalk Glenn, 4-3.

Covina Gladstone scored three runs on three hits and an error in the fourth inning and beat top-seeded Montclair Prep, 4-2, in a 1-A game at Gladstone.

Gladstone faces Long Beach St. Anthony, an 11-1 winner over Elsinore, in the semifinals.

Baldwin Park, a 1-A finalist four of the last five years, slipped by San Marino, 4-3, and Playa del Rey St. Bernard beat Aquinas, 3-1, in other 1-A games.

Burbank Providence, top seeded in the Small Schools division, beat Ojai Villanova Prep, 9-4, while Mar Vista Windward and Pasadena Poly also advanced.

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