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High School Baseball : Montclair Prep Earns Share of Title

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This was not supposed to be a great season for the Montclair Prep baseball team. The Mounties, under first-year Coach Walt Steele, had only three returning players and nobody had pitched at the varsity level.

“I sat down with Coach Steele and said I hope we won’t get embarrassed,” assistant Mike DeMartini said.

Now it is the Mounties’ opponents who are embarrassed. Montclair Prep walked away with a 10-0 win over Maranatha on Tuesday at Encino Colt Field, assuring the Mounties a share of the Alpha League title.

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Montclair Prep (10-8-1, 7-1 in league play) has won or tied for every title since the league was formed in 1983. The Mounties are one victory away from claiming the title outright.

“This team has played far beyond our best hopes and dreams,” Steele said. “I owe the kids the credit. I’ve just been telling them take one game at a time and it’s been working.”

Sophomore Kevin Grant (5-3) pitched a five-hit complete game for the Mounties. The Montclair Prep staff has been burdened by the loss of Scott Saklad, who is out for the season because of a ruptured disk in his back.

“All our pitchers did in the preseason was run and pitch and shag balls. No hitting,” Steele said. “It’s beginning to pay off. They’re throwing complete game after complete game.”

Montclair Prep pounded out 10 hits and took advantage of 5 walks and 5 errors. Keyaan Cook was 3 for 4.

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