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Error-Prone Fullerton Is No Match for Western

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Western and Fullerton seemed to be evenly matched coming into their Kennedy Easter Tournament semifinal game, but once the game started, it was evident the Indians couldn’t keep up.

Western took advantage of five Fullerton errors and cruised to a 5-1 victory Tuesday at Glover Stadium.

Western (10-3-1) will play Paramount for the championship at Glover at 7 tonight. Paramount defeated Lancaster, 15-5, in the other semifinal game.

Fullerton (9-4) will play Lancaster for third place at 1 p.m.

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Western right-hander Brandon Herbert (3-0) would have made things difficult enough for Fullerton, giving up five hits and striking out five in seven innings. But Fullerton’s defense provided the Pioneers three unearned runs.

Indians right-hander Phil Girod (2-1) did his best to work around 10 Pioneer hits and all the errors, but he also gave Western a run in the seventh with two wild pitches.

“They are a very good hitting team, probably better than us,” Fullerton Coach Marty Berson said. “But we also made too many errors. I don’t think Girod pitched that badly, we just didn’t make any plays behind him.”

Western Coach Robert Harrison wasn’t entirely happy with his team’s performance. The Pioneers took themselves out of a couple of innings with baserunning blunders, and then lost a shutout in the sixth when first baseman Bryan Clark first fumbled and then made a bad throw on John Pate’s sacrifice bunt. The two errors got Chad Staffieri, who singled, over to third base. He scored on Luke Smude’s groundout.

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“We could have done some little things better that might have made the score 7-1,” Harrison said.

In a consolation game:

Kennedy 10, Sunny Hills 5--Neal Hannifan had two hits and two RBIs for Kennedy (7-8). Brian Roberson pitched four scoreless innings to pick up his first victory of the season.

Kennedy plays Whittier California in the consolation final at Glover Stadium at 4 p.m. today.

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In the Century League:

No. 5 Foothill 9, Orange 5--Shane Stewart’s triple in the fifth inning drove in the winning run. Jonathan Stephens was two for two with three RBIs for Foothill (9-2, 5-0), which had nine hits. Orange (4-8, 2-4) had 10 hits.

No. 6 Canyon 8, Villa Park 5--Ryan Smith’s two-run homer in the third gave visiting Canyon a 5-0 lead. Smith drove in three runs and Brian Wahlbrink had two doubles, two RBIs and three stolen bases for the Comanches (10-3, 5-1). Villa Park is 1-4 in league.

In the Golden West League:

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No. 8 Tustin 10, Santa Ana 4--Quin Brumbaugh and Fernando Serrano each drove in two runs for Tustin (9-3, 4-2).

In the Sea View League:

No. 4 Santa Margarita 20, Corona del Mar 14--Jeff LaRue hit two homers and drove in six runs, Casey Grzecka drove in four runs and Matt Strickroth three for Santa Margarita (11-2, 6-0).

Woodbridge 7, Newport Harbor 6--Kevin Beavers had the game-winning double in the eighth after pitching five innings with seven strikeouts for host Woodbridge (9-4, 4-2). Newport Harbor is 0-6 in league.

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In the South Coast League:

No. 2 Mater Dei 11, Capistrano Valley 8--Josh Hansen (seven RBIs) hit a grand slam in the first and also hit a two-run homer for Mater Dei (11-1, 6-0), which overcame an 8-7 deficit by scoring four runs in the sixth.

Mission Viejo 3, Trabuco Hills 2--Chris Willmer had a solo homer in the third and Matt Kustura had one in the fifth to give Mission Viejo (7-5, 3-3) a 3-1 lead. Dan Kessel (3-2) threw his second complete game for the Diablos, striking out five and walking none.

In the Sunset League:

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No. 7 Fountain Valley 9, Marina 8--Luke Branch had three RBIs, including the game-winner in the sixth inning, for Fountain Valley (8-5, 3-3). Danny Ellis (2-3) pitched three scoreless innings in relief to get the victory.


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