Boras Classic: Zach Brown provides drama with walk-off home run for Villa Park
The first game of the 16-team, four-day Boras Classic on Tuesday produced the kind of drama and excitement you’d expect from a tournament loaded with outstanding teams and elite players.
Villa Park and Servite went into the ninth inning tied 4-4. Servite had the bases loaded in the top of the ninth with none out but couldn’t score. Then junior Zach Brown ended the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off home run for a 5-4 Villa Park win at Mater Dei High. It was his first home run of the season.
Brown comes from a family known for coming through in sports. Oldest brother Dillon was a standout at Foothill, played at Cal State Fullerton and is now a JV pitching coach at Orange Lutheran while finishing his master’s degree. Brother Tommy was an offensive lineman at Mater Dei, Alabama and now Colorado. And his father, Vince, is athletic director at Orange Lutheran.
Vince was watching Monday’s game but had scheduled an appointment for noon thinking high school games end in less than three hours. He went to his appointment after the game entered extra innings.
“I missed the home run,” he said.
He knew something was going on when his watch started “blowing up” with text messages.
“It was nice to see him get one out of the ballpark,” Vince said. “Being the young pup and following his brothers, it’s nice for him. He’s created his own path at Villa Park.”
Villa Park will play Huntington Beach in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Mater Dei. Huntington Beach got a walk-off single from Antonio Ventimiglia in the seventh inning for a 3-2 win over Yucaipa. Ben Jacobs struck out 10 in six innings.
JSerra rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat San Dimas 4-2. The Lions scored four runs in the fifth inning. Brandon Chang had two hits. David Horn threw a complete game. St. Augustine defeated Foothill 3-2 and will play JSerra at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The biggest upset was La Mirada knocking off 22-0 Sierra Canyon. The Trailblazers decided to hold off using their top three starting pitchers, and La Mirada pounced with a four-run first inning that featured a three-run home run by Andrew Pyle and an RBI double from freshman Aiden Aguayo, who doubled a second time and three RBIs. Eric Jean pitched La Mirada into the quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday at JSerra against Orange Lutheran, which defeated King 16-1 behind five RBIs from Casey Borba.
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame received a two-hitter from Cole Clark in a 7-0 victory over Corona. The Knights broke open the game with a six-run seventh. Jack Gurevitch finished with two RBIs. Notre Dame will play Point Loma at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Mater Dei in the quarterfinals. Point Loma defeated Mater Dei 1-0.
Here’s the link to updated brackets.
In other games Tuesday in the Southland:
Bishop Amat 10, Loyola 0: Alejandro Morales struck out nine, walked none and gave up three hits in the shutout for Bishop Amat. Jacob Hernandez and Jordan Pasillas each had two hits and two RBIs. Isaiah Ibarra had three hits.
Birmingham 7, El Camino Real 1: Daniel Flores threw a complete game and Dominic Ramirez had two hits and two RBIs for Birmingham.
Granada Hills 5, Taft 2: Alden Quintanilla had a three-run home run to help the Highlanders keep pace with Birmingham in the battle for first place in the West Valley League.
Cleveland 9, Chatsworth 2: Braden Lowe struck out three in five innings while allowing two hits for Cleveland. He also had three hits and four RBIs.
Roosevelt 3, Garfield 1: Andrew Contreras struck out six to give Roosevelt the win in the annual baseball rivalry game.
Marshall 10, Franklin 0: Ivan Torres of Marshall threw a five-inning no-hitter with nine strikeouts.
Pasadena 8, Arcadia 1: The Bulldogs handed Arcadia its second Pacific League defeat.
Calabasas 7, Simi Valley 3: Sam Sonnenberg and Jacob Triessl had doubles to lead the Coyotes.
Royal 7, Moorpark 6: Nate Hamburger had the walk-off two-run hit for Royal.
Capistrano Valley 6, Tesoro 0: Jaden Sekhon threw the shutout for the Cougars.
Crespi 4, St. Bonaventure 3: Tyler Grenn struck out five in four innings.
Harvard-Westlake 11, Bishop Alemany 0: Tommy Bridges threw five shutout innings in the Mission League victory.
Warren 2, Gahr 1: Aidan Gonzalez of Warren improved to 8-1 with a 10-strikeout performance.
El Camino Real 4, Granada Hills 1: Brooke DeSmet allowed two hits in the victory.
Villa Park 11, Yorba Linda 2: Bethany Spurr had a home run, double and four RBIs for Villa Park. Sydney Somerndike started and pitched 2 1/3 innings.
Mission Viejo 2, San Juan Hills 0: It took 11 innings before the Diablos prevailed.
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