Orange Lutheran defeats Santa Ana Mater Dei, 3-0, in Trinity League baseball
For the first three innings Wednesday night, left-hander Cory Hahn of Santa Ana Mater Dei was unhittable. He struck out seven of nine Orange Lutheran batters.
“Hahn looked like Randy Johnson throwing against a bunch of Little Leaguers,” Orange Lutheran Coach Eric Borba said.
But the Lancers had their own outstanding senior left-hander in Bobby Wheatley, who matched Hahn inning for inning. And when the Lancers’ hitters found a way to get on base against Hahn and score three runs in the fourth, that was all Wheatley needed to come away with a 3-0 victory over Mater Dei in a Trinity League game at Hart Park.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported in the headline that Mater Dei won the game. Orange Lutheran won.
Hahn came in with a 6-0 record and 0.72 earned-run average. He finished with 11 strikeouts and gave up just three hits. Wheatley improved to 4-1, allowing four hits while striking out six and walking one. Wheatley is headed to USC. Hahn is headed to Arizona State.
“Any time you get a chance to pitch against a great player like Cory Hahn, you have to bring your A game,” Wheatley said. “I knew I had to execute my game plan.”
Said Borba: “The real tribute goes to Bobby Wheatley. He was unbelievable. Every inning, I kept saying, ‘Hey, they have a pretty good left-hander going, but ours is pretty good too.’ ”
Lutheran (13-4, 4-2) did its damage against Hahn in the fourth. Ryan Forkel led off with a walk and Cody Nulph followed with a bunt single. Then Andre Real smashed the ball down the left-field line on a hit-and-run play to drive in Forkel. And Josh Doyle followed with a two-run double.
The Lancers never got another hit off Hahn, but Wheatley was so effective it didn’t matter. He used his fastball and curveball to keep the Monarchs (7-8, 4-2) off balance. And he got a double play in the seventh to prevent any Mater Dei comeback.
“You get two pitchers like that going head to head and it’s fun to watch,” Borba said. “I tip my hat to our hitters. It takes one inning. You have to keep plugging away.”
It was just another unpredictable, exciting game from the Trinity League, where Anaheim Servite (5-1) has a one-game lead over Lutheran and Mater Dei, with defending champion JSerra (3-3) lurking nearby.