Two baseball teams headed in opposite directions met Friday for an Empire League game at Boysen Park. As expected, the team playing well of late--Katella High School--defeated struggling Los Alamitos, 9-0.
Katella (15-4, 6-3 in league) has seven consecutive victories and is in sole possession of second place, three games behind Empire League-leading Esperanza.
Los Alamitos, after winning its first four league games, has lost four of its past five and dropped out of a second-place tie. Los Alamitos is 8-11-1, 5-4.
Katella's Chris Drummond (5-0), a senior right-hander, gave up three hits, walked two and hit a batter.
Through six innings, the only Los Alamitos hitters who were able to figure out Drummond's changeup were second baseman Tyler Cashman and designated hitter Todd Gragnano, who both singled.
The only Los Alamitos player to reach second base was right fielder Doug Kieck, who singled to lead off the seventh inning and advanced on a walk to Carlos Jorge. But Drummond struck out catcher Craig Voorting to end the game.
"Chris throws strikes," Katella Coach Tim McMenamin said. "He's got confidence in the way our defense is playing right now behind him. He knows they're going to make the plays."
The Knights, who had 11 hits, didn't waste any time against Los Alamitos starter William Wagner, either.
Katella third baseman Dennis Briggs led off the bottom of the first with a double to left, stole third and scored on Danny Allen's single. Allen and Eric Boyd scored on a double by shortstop Jamie Vitzelio.
Vitzelio went three for three, including a pair of doubles, and drove in three runs to lead Katella.
In other league games:
Loara 12, El Dorado 2--Czach Hallock hit a two-run home run in the third inning and tripled in Loara's six-run fourth. Aaron France pitched a complete game, giving up seven hits and striking out four for Loara (5-14, 3-6). El Dorado is 10-10, 3-6.
Esperanza 8, Cypress 7--Rich Hills went four for four, including two triples, and had four RBIs as visiting Esperanza defeated Cypress for the second time this week. Brandon Calderella hit a two-run home run in the fourth to tie the score, 6-6, but Esperanza (14-6, 9-0) scored an unearned run in the fifth and Hills scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Perez in the sixth.