Calabasas baseball is rising behind Phoenix Call

Calabasas junior center fielder Phoenix Call walks to plate with a bat in his hand.
Calabasas junior center fielder Phoenix Call is hitting close to .500 and also starring as a defensive player.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Phoenix is an immortal bird in Greek mythology, so it’s only appropriate that the soaring chances of the Calabasas High baseball team winning the Marmonte League title can be traced to the play of a center fielder named Phoenix Call.

Call’s batting averaging is .441, and he made two important catches in the seventh inning on Monday to preserve the Coyotes’ 6-4 win over Newbury Park. Calabasas is 15-4 overall and 7-2 in league under second-year head coach Shaun Kort, and having younger brothers do well is critical to the Coyotes’ success.

Call and right fielder Sam Grunberg have been under studies to their older brothers, Chase and Ben. Chase and Ben are now outfielders at UC Irvine and Loyola Marymount, respectively, and they’ll be in the starting lineup on Tuesday when their college teams play. Their younger brothers have been using them as inspiration. Sam, a senior, has seven home runs. Phoenix has ignited the Coyotes’ offense.


“They were always beating up on us when we were younger,” Phoenix said as a charter member of the younger brother club. “They make us better.”

Against Newbury Park, Calabasas received three hits from Jordan Jaffe, including a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth that gave a three-run cushion to reliever Lee Atkinson. Starter Jordan Kingston struck out seven in five innings. The Coyotes inflicted the defeat on junior Cole Miller, a UCLA commit who struck out seven.

Kort is also a younger brother. He remembers being a bat boy at Dodger Stadium when his brother, Jason, was playing for the City title with El Camino Real. Jason is now an attorney.

“My brother inspired me,” Shaun said.

USC is getting a fast one in Max Thomas, the Servite senior who won the 100 and 200 in loaded fields on Saturday at the Arcadia Invitational.

April 11, 2022

Thousand Oaks 14, Westlake 1: Easton Rulli had four RBIs and Yahir Garcia contributed four hits to lead Thousand Oaks.

Corona 3, King 1: Ethan Schiefebein struck out 13 to celebrate his 16th birthday and lead the Panthers.

Roosevelt 4, Corona Santiago 3: A bases loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh inning gave Roosevelt the victory. Damian Hernandez threw a complete game.

Villa Park 3, Santa Fe 2: Gavin Grahovac came through with an RBI double in the 11th inning to lift Villa Park. He also hit a home run.

Marshall 2, Bell 0: Geo Hernandez threw a perfect game for Marshall.

Etiwanda 10, Chino Hills 1: Austen Roellig finished with three hits while Mike Harrison and Tyler McEvoy each had three RBIs for Etiwanda. Freshman Brady Ebel allowed four hits in six innings.

Birmingham 8, Las Vegas 0: Playing in Las Vegas, the Patriots won their first game. Gavin Taylor and Dom Cervantes each hit home runs. Ricardo Martinez threw four shutout innings. Later, Birmingham was beaten by Arbor View 8-6. Taylor finished the day with three home runs and five RBIs.

JSerra 8, Harvard-Westlake 3: Owen Fuller contributed four RBIs in the Lions’ win at USC.