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Irvine Hardball Tournament : McCarthy Lifts Mater Dei Over Tustin, 9-8

Going into Sunday’s final of the Irvine Baseball Assn. and Times Orange County Hardball Tournament, Mater Dei High School first baseman Mike McCarthy experienced more than his share of adversity.

McCarthy, who has played sparingly during his sophomore and junior seasons because of a hip injury and mononucleosis, was hit by another misfortune before the Irvine tournament. During a summer league game at Rancho Santiago College, a ground ball took a bad hop and broke his nose.

For the record:

12:00 AM, Aug. 03, 1989 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday August 3, 1989 Orange County Edition Sports Part 3 Page 15 Column 1 Sports Desk 1 inches; 31 words Type of Material: Correction
Jim McCarthy, a first baseman from Mater Dei High School, was incorrectly identified as Mike in the account of the Irvine Baseball Assn. and Times Orange County Hardball Tournament in The Times Orange County Edition Monday.

McCarthy, who wore an adhesive mask to protect his nose throughout the Irvine tournament, had three hits in Sunday’s title game, including a bases-loaded double, to lead the Monarchs to a 9-8 victory over Tustin at UC Irvine.

McCarthy’s three-run double capped an eight-run Mater Dei fourth in which the Monarchs took advantage of three walks and a fielding error by second baseman Jim Reider to overcome an 8-1 deficit.

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McCarthy also singled and scored a run in the inning. Ryan Anderson had a two-run triple and Paul LaGreca and Jim Cook each drove in a run with a single.

McCarthy was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

“He didn’t play that much the last two years, but he’s really been killing the ball this summer,” Mater Dei Coach Bob Ickes said.

“He’s become a really inspirational leader on this team. Besides his hitting, he constantly yells encouragement at the other kids to keep them going.”

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Tustin, which scored 46 runs in its first three Irvine tournament games, took a 3-0 lead in the first on Bill Courtney’s two-run triple and Andy Gonzalez’s RBI single.

Shawn Green led off the Tustin second with a single to center, going to second when center fielder Jim Betzsold mishandled the hit for an error. Two outs later, Green scored on catcher Cale Carter’s passed ball, giving the Tillers a 4-0 lead.

After Mater Dei cut the lead to 4-1 in the second on consecutive two-out singles by McCarthy, Andy Foster and LaGreca, the Tillers scored four times in the fourth.

“A lot of our guys were tired going into this tournament because so many of them play in two different leagues--our own and a Connie Mack league--during the summer, and because of this, we didn’t have any pitching left today when we needed it,” Tustin Coach Vince Brown said.

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Colin Gawronski, who replaced Mater Dei starter Sean Sutton in the fourth, picked up the victory and was named the tournament’s top pitcher.

Ben Strack was the loser.

Notes

University defeated Capistrano Valley, 7-3, for third place as Steve Archer, Mark See and Donnell Dowdy combined to give up 11 hits. . . . In losers’ bracket games Sunday, Irvine defeated Huntington Beach, 2-0, and Corona del Mar defeated Orange, 15-4. . . . Three of the tournament’s participants--Tustin, Mater Dei and Irvine--will go to Baseball City, Fla., Aug. 6-12 to play against American Legion and high school teams from Florida and other states.

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