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One Way Orr Another, La Mirada Wins Crown

TIMES STAFF WRITER

La Mirada High pitcher Ben Orr said he wasn’t nervous before taking the mound Friday night against Covina Charter Oak for the Southern Section Division III baseball championship.

And after watching his team score seven runs in the first four innings, he never had a chance to get jittery.

Orr struck out 10 and walked none, leading La Mirada to an 8-1 victory before 2,113 at Cal State Fullerton.

“When we get a lead like that, it’s easy on a pitcher,” said Orr after the Matadores (24-6) won their first title since 1988. “I just had to do my job and throw strikes and get outs.”

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Orr gave up only six hits and had only one chance to feel any pressure--when he was in a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. But he struck out center fielder Chris Strycula to end the threat by Charter Oak (21-9).

“I called all the pitches from the dugout and he hit every spot I called,” said La Mirada Coach Kim Brooks. “He was something else tonight, inside [corner], outside [corner], wherever he wanted.

“We are a dangerous team offensively because we’re strong one through nine in the lineup,” Brooks said. “Sometimes opposing teams relax when they pitch to the bottom of the order, but you can’t do that against us.”

Said Charter Oak Coach Steve Gomez: “He was dominating tonight. He was painting that outside corner all night. He changed speeds well and we just couldn’t hit him.”

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DIVISION V

Pasadena La Salle 5, Cerritos Valley Christian 1--The Lancers (22-8) broke a scoreless tie with five runs in the top of the eighth inning to capture the Division V title at Cal State Fullerton.

La Salle pitcher Joe Hardy hit a bases-loaded triple and tossed a four-hitter, leading the Lancers to their first baseball title. Valley Christian finished at 21-8.

“We were 1-4 after the first week of the season and no one knew who we were,” said La Salle Coach Brian Miller. “But now they do.”

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