Advertisement

3-A BASEBALL FINAL : Mira Mesa-Montgomery Promises to Be a Pitchers’ Duel : Championship: Offense might be scarce when county’s two premier pitching staffs hook up.

Share via
TIMES STAFF WRITER

Of the first 11 San Diego Section 3-A championship baseball games, there have been two shutouts.

Mt. Carmel beat Point Loma, 1-0, in 1981, and Helix edged Santana by the same score in 1988.

A third 1-0 final is a possibility tonight when Mira Mesa and Montgomery meet in the 3-A game at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium at approximately 7.

Advertisement

Top-seeded Mira Mesa and No. 2 Montgomery have the top two pitching staffs in the county, and neither has a powerhouse offense. They hit well enough--Mira Mesa is 27-4-1, Montgomery 22-5-1--but outstanding pitching is what got them to the final.

Each has a team earned-run average under 2.00, and each has three pitchers with ERAs under 1.50. In its last four games, Mira Mesa has yielded only five hits. Montgomery allowed 12 hits in three playoffs games, but two of the games went extra innings, and all three were within a five-day span.

Said Grossmont Coach Jeff Meredith, whose offense-laden team will play balanced Mission Bay in the early 2-A final: “You don’t know what your going to get with us and Mission Bay, but I know that Montgomery-Mira Mesa will be a heck of a game. Both those teams have great pitching.”

Mike Bovee, who led the county in strikeouts with 121, will start for Mira Mesa. Bovee (10-2) capped the regular season with the first no-hitter in Mira Mesa history, then came back with a two-hitter in the quarterfinals.

Should he get into trouble, Coach Mike Prosser can call on Marc Nielsen (6-1) or Brendan Hause (7-1). Nielsen, who will start at shortstop, pitched the second no-hitter in school history in the first round of the playoffs and was the winning pitcher in last year’s 8-1 final over Monte Vista. Hause, a left-hander who will start at first base, had the lowest ERA on the team (0.76) during the regular season. All three are seniors.

Montgomery will counter with junior right-hander David Silvas (3-0), who was injured the first two-thirds of the season. If need be, Coach Manny Hermosillo will turn to sophomore Pedro Ramirez (7-1), senior Mike Wazal (6- 2), junior Julio Saldana (3-1) or sophomore Eduardo Duarte (1-0).

Advertisement

Offensively, two-time Metro Conference champion Montgomery has three players who hit over .400--Wazal (.434), Luis Contreras (.418) and Saldana (.412). Contreras had 21 runs batted in and Antonio Serena 19.

Frankie Edsall, who will play despite an injured finger, led City Eastern League champion Mira Mesa with a .367 average. Drew Arnold had 23 RBIs, followed by Edsall, Karl Goins and P.J. Henry with 18 apiece.

Nielsen, Hause and Bovee, who bat first, second and fourth in the Marauder playoff lineup, didn’t bat in games they pitched during the regular season.

Neither team hit many home runs, nor did they steal many bases.

Mira Mesa has the edge in age and experience, having won last year with eight junior starters, but Montgomery is scrappy and has a first-rate defense.

“I don’t see it as a blowout either way,” Prosser said. “I see it coming down to pitching and timely hitting.”

Baseball Notes

San Diego’s 3-A vs. 2-A All-Star baseball game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday at San Diego State’s Smith Field.

Advertisement

The season finale, where the best players from each division will showcase their talents, is produced by the San Diego Coaches Assn. Proceeds will benefit high school baseball programs around the county.

Rancho Buena Vista’s Steve Hargrove is the 3-A coach and Oceanside’s Dave Barrett will oversee the efforts of the 2-A team.

Advertisement