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  • Baseball

Roybal got to celebrate its first City Section baseball championship on Friday night, rallying for a 6-5 victory over LACES in the Division II final at USC.

The game ended in the eighth inning when Fernando Alvarez hit a sacrifice fly to score Jose Romero. Alvarez also threw two scoreless inning of relief.

Roybal had to score two runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game. It was a triumph for coach Robert Bautista, whose team suffered some heart-breaking playoff defeats through the years.





Chaminade softball players celebrate after winning Division 5 title.
Chaminade softball players celebrate after winning Division 5 title. (Greg Klee)

Errors put Chaminade in a hole Friday, but a three-run rally in the sixth inning carried the Eagles to a 5-3 victory over Riverside North in the Southern Section Division 5 championship softball game in Irvine.

The Eagles, down 3-1, loaded the bases and got a two-run single from Gabby Hensley followed by a sacrifice fly by Alexis Klee to take a 4-3 lead. They added an insurance run in the seventh.

Tessa Magnanimo picked up the pitching victory even though the defense was shaky.

  • Softball

A look at Saturday’s Southern Section softball championship games at Barber Park in Irvine.

Division 1: Gahr vs. Norco, 6:30 p.m.: Unseeded Gahr can’t be overlooked, not after the Gladiators knocked off Chino Hills 1-0 in eight innings in the semifinals. Pitcher Vanessa Foreman already owns a win over top-seeded Norco this season. Sophomore pitcher Sarah Willis has led Norco to a 28-3 record and hit two home runs in the semifinals.

Division 2:  Newbury Park vs. King, 12:30 p.m. Junior Cory Carrillo is the standout pitcher for Newbury Park with a 17-2 record and 1.05 ERA, including seven shutouts. Brenna Smith came on in relief to lead King in the semifinals over Buena.

  • Baseball
Catcher Johnny Tincher celebrates with pitcher Eddie Rosales after Birmingham won last year's City title at Dodger Stadium.
Catcher Johnny Tincher celebrates with pitcher Eddie Rosales after Birmingham won last year's City title at Dodger Stadium. (Luis Sinco)

A look at championship baseball games on Saturday.

City Section Open Division: El Camino Real vs. Birmingham at Dodger Stadium, 1 p.m. El Camino Real is seeking its 10th championship. Sophomore Adam Christopher will get the start on the mound, but the Conquistadores also will have Cole Kitchen, Joey Klein and Jack Whisnant ready to go if needed. The Conquistadores were very good at bunting and executing in the semifinals. They swept Birmingham in the regular season league games. Birmingham will need to come up with a pitcher who can throw strikes. Ace Albert Garcia isn’t available. Erik Rivas is the hottest batter with five hits in two playoff games. Catcher Johnny Tincher must be kept off the bases for ECR to win. Birmingham is the defending champion and won this game 50 years ago. The pick: Birmingham.

City Section Division I: Verdugo Hills vs. Carson at Dodger Stadium, 10 a.m. The big question is will Carson pitch to Charlie Rocca, who has received double-digit intentional walks this season after hitting 14 home runs. The Dons don’t have their best pitcher, Nick Masumoto, who threw on Thursday; junior Nick Rodriguez is expected to get the start. Carson was 8-2 in the competitive Marine League. Lorenzo Roman is hitting above .400, and infielder Jaja Bellinger is dangerous with his speed. It will be all about playing defense and not walking batters in this one. The pick: Carson.





Giddy. That’s the best word to describe Verdugo Hills coach Angel Espindola after his team earned a spot in Saturday’s 10 a.m. City Section Division I championship game at Dodger Stadium with a 4-1 semifinal victory over Taft on Thursday at USC.

Ten years ago, when Espindola took over as coach, he looked through the school record book and didn’t see any Dodger Stadium appearances.

“I’m so excited,” Espindola said while hugging one supporter after another.

In 1997, Fairfax won a City Section quarterfinal basketball playoff game against Manual Arts. After the game, Manual Arts alleged the Lions had used a player who participated in a church league during the season, making him ineligible.

Fairfax had to forfeit the game and was replaced by Manual Arts. It was an example of a school waiting until it saw whether its team won or lost before reporting a violation, and the fact that the information came out during the playoffs made the impact even more powerful.

The City Section eventually changed to a new rule saying that if an ineligible player were discovered during the playoffs, the individual would be removed and the team would be restricted from participating in the playoffs the next season. That way, a school would not be rewarded for waiting until the playoffs began to inform the athletics office of a violation.


The City Section announced Thursday that Rancho Dominguez will not participate in Friday’s City Section Division III championship baseball game because of an ineligible player.

Harbor Teacher Prep, which lost to Rancho Dominguez 4-3 in the semifinals, will replace Rancho Dominguez in Friday’s 3 p.m. final against Vaughn at USC.

Information was given to the City Section on Wednesday alleging that Rancho Dominguez had an ineligible player, according to City Section Commissioner John Aguirre. After Rancho Dominguez investigated and confirmed the allegation, the team had to forfeit because of a City Section rule that was revised in 2017 and states that if an ineligible player is discovered during the playoffs “the individual and team will not advance.”

Pitchers Cole Winn and Max Rajcic of Orange Lutheran has been selected as co-most valuable players of the Trinity League. Winn is a senior; Rajcic is a sophomore. Both also hit this season.

The pitcher of the year was senior Jake Reed of JSerra and senior Christian Ciuffetelli of Servite. The rookie of the year was junior Caden Connor of Orange Lutheran. The golden glove award went to senior catcher Kameron Guangorena of St. John Bosco.

Other first-team all-league selections: