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Chatsworth, El Camino Real advance to City Section final at Dodger Stadium

Cleveland High third baseman Anthony Rivera reaches to tag out Chatsworth outfielder Randy Mata in the second inning of a City Section Division I semifinal at USC's Dedeaux Field on Tuesday.

Cleveland High third baseman Anthony Rivera reaches to tag out Chatsworth outfielder Randy Mata in the second inning of a City Section Division I semifinal at USC’s Dedeaux Field on Tuesday.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

It’s only fitting that Dodger Stadium will be the site on Saturday to settle the latest annual duel between Chatsworth and El Camino Real to decide the best high school baseball team in the City Section.

Combined, they’ve won 17 Division I titles. This season, they split their two-game series in the West Valley League. And on Tuesday, each came through with a semifinal victory at USC to secure a precious final invitation to play for a championship at 1 p.m. at Dodger Stadium.

Conquistadores defeat Birmingham, 3-1

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Chatsworth (29-6), the No. 1 seed, defeated Reseda Cleveland, 2-0. Catcher Daniel Zakosek had three hits and threw out a runner trying to steal second for a decisive double play.

“He was tremendous,” Chatsworth Coach Tom Meusborn said.

Josh Garcia threw 5 1/3 innings, with Tommy Palomera picking up the save. Chatsworth avenged a loss to Cleveland in last year’s semifinals.

“We’re tougher this year,” said second baseman Andrew Renteria, who contributed two hits and overcame stomach issues from being ill the last two weeks.

El Camino Real (27-7), the No. 2 seed, scored three runs in the fourth inning to defeat Birmingham, 3-1. Jose Campos ended a 1-1 tie with a two-run single off Isaac Meza.

Jeremy Polon threw six innings, retiring 11 consecutive batters until giving up a leadoff walk to start the seventh inning. That’s when Coach Josh Lienhard pulled his All-City pitcher in favor of the Conquistadores’ new star closer, junior Elan Filous.

A junior varsity pitcher last season, Filous has become a key player. He got a strikeout, gave up an infield single, struck out the next batter and then ended the game by getting Ryan Mendoza to fly out.

“We call him Bulldog,” Lienhard said. “He comes after guys.”

A year ago, El Camino Real won the City title because its No. 3 pitcher, Matt Malconian, came through in relief roles. Now Filous is trying to assume the same role.

“I just want to be the guy and am glad Coach Lienhard has given me the opportunity to do this,” he said.

Filous comes in and throws strikes and loves the pressure.

“It’s made me thrive and given me more energy,” he said.

As for playing rival Chatsworth, All-City catcher Eric Yang said, “It will be a dogfight.”

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATSondheimer


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