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SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL PLAYOFFS : 4-A DIVISION : Six Troy Errors Don’t Matter in Loss to South Hills

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Troy High School’s baseball team might have spent half the summer lamenting the six errors that led to five unearned runs during Tuesday’s Southern Section 4-A semifinal playoff game against South Hills. But an outstanding performance by right-hander Shawn Wooton made the miscues meaningless as South Hills rolled to an 8-0 victory at Covina High School.

“Should I look for this one in the obituaries?” Troy Coach Dane Ilertsen said. “We didn’t play real good defense, but it didn’t matter. We weren’t even close to scoring.”

Wooton (10-2), with a fastball that registers in the mid-80s and a sharp curve, limited Troy to three hits and a walk.

The Warriors managed a second-inning single by Chris Chase, a fifth-inning single by Greg Windle and a seventh-inning single by Tim Hostetler. Chase was the only runner to reach second, but he was stranded when the next two batters struck out.

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Wooton had 10 strikeouts to raise his South Hills single-season record to 104.

“The scary thing is that we hear their shortstop (Cory Lidle) is even better,” Ilertsen said.

Lidle (11-1) will pitch Saturday when South Hills (24-5), which has won 15 games in a row, plays San Luis Obispo at 4:30 p.m. at Anaheim Stadium for the 4-A title. Lidle has 97 strikeouts this season.

“I’ve had teams with better offenses,” South Hills Coach Jim Bastion said, “but not this much pitching. We are blessed with some talented arms.”

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Wooton and Lidle have combined to give up only one run in four playoff games.

Troy (17-10) had used the combination of Guy Pinelli and Windle in the three previous playoff victories.

The Warriors used the same pair Tuesday, but this time the defense let starter Pinelli down. He allowed a pair of doubles in the first inning for the only earned run of the five he surrendered.

South Hills scored three runs in the second on only two hits. Troy Chiara led off with a single and was sacrificed to second. He scored on a throwing error by Troy second baseman Ryan Russell. Brian Butler, who reached first and then took second on the throwing error, moved to third on a balk.

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He scored on a throwing error by Troy catcher Steve Friedrich, giving South Hills a 3-0 lead. The final run of the inning came home on a squeeze bunt by Wooton.

South Hills scored solo runs in the fourth and fifth innings and added two more in the sixth.


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