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Birmingham upsets No. 1 Granada Hills in City Section Open Division quarterfinals

Birmingham players cheer on their teammates during 9-2 upset of top-seeded Granada Hills on Friday.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

In 15 years as baseball coach at Lake Balboa Birmingham, Matt Mowry has never won a West Valley League championship. He’s all about earning rings for City Section championships. And the Patriots, despite an unimpressive 12-20 overall record, are alive in a bid to win a fourth consecutive City Section Open Division championship.

Birmingham defeated top-seeded Granada Hills 9-2 on Friday, scoring eight runs in the sixth inning after the Highlanders brought in closer Brandon Garfinkel to protect a 2-1 lead. Garfinkel hadn’t given up a run all season but three hit batters, several throwing errors and two walks sent the Patriots into the semifinals on Wednesday against the winner of Saturday’s game between San Pedro and Banning.

Coming through for Birmingham was sophomore pitcher Daniel Flores, who struck out six, walked two and threw a complete game. Gavin Taylor had three hits. Mowry was even close to pulling Flores when he got into trouble in the first inning.

Ryan Grande discusses life and basketball at Sierra Canyon as the team prepares to play for the Southern Section Open Division championship.

“He settled down and really pitched an outstanding game,” Mowry said.

Cleveland advanced to the semifinals with a 4-2 win over Chatsworth. Andrew Howe picked up the save in support of starter Braden Lowe. The Cavaliers will host El Camino Real on Wednesday.

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Southern Section

Trabuco Hills 2, Sierra Canyon 0: Mason Molina threw a two-hitter with seven strikeouts to lead Trabuco Hills into the Division 2 semifinals, outdueling Jaden Noot, who struck out nine. Bobby Gray homered.

Thousand Oaks 12, San Dimas 1: Roc Riggio hit three home runs and finished with six RBIs for Thousand Oaks.

Orange Lutheran 2, Bishop Amat 1: Orange Lutheran won in eight innings. Louis Rodriguez came in to throw two innings of relief for the victory. Izeah Muniz allowed one run in seven innings for Bishop Amat.

Harvard-Westlake 11, Cypress 4: George Cooper and Jacob Galloway each had three RBIs for the second-seeded Wolverines, who will face Orange Lutheran on Tuesday.

JSerra 7, Yucaipa 1: Eric Silva struck out eight and allowed three hits in six innings while Luke Jewett hit a home run to lead the top-seeded Lions into the Division 1 semifinals.

Ayala 7, Corona 3: Cole Koniarsky had two hits and three RBIs to send Ayala into a Division 1 semifinal against JSerra.

Hart 3, Calabasas 2: The Indians won in eight innings. Eddie Tejada had a two-run home run and Casey Hinojosa contributed the winning hit.

Camarillo 6, Yorba Linda 5: Matt Lopez delivered his third hit of the game, a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh, to send the Scorpions into the Division 2 semifinals. Here’s the link to next week’s schedule.


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