Dominic Smith leads Gardena Serra to Division 3 baseball title
In five days, Dominic Smith leaves for New York to experience the excitement of baseball’s amateur draft, in which he is likely to be a first-round choice. But on Friday afternoon, he and his Gardena Serra teammates flashed big smiles and screamed like children at an amusement park after an 8-1 victory over Manhattan Beach Mira Costa in the Southern Section Division 3 championship game at Dodger Stadium.
“It’s sweet,” said Smith, a left-hander who struck out nine in 61/3 innings, walked three times (two were intentional) and got a single to help Serra (28-5) win its first baseball championship. Solomon Bates got a double-play grounder to end the game.
Marcus Wilson was the most excited Cavalier. He hit a ball that struck the foul pole down the left-field line in the second inning for a home run. He also had a two-run double.
“Honestly, it seems surreal,” he said. “I’m really at a loss for words. Hitting a home run at Dodger Stadium is a dream come true. It’s unbelievable.”
Denz’l Chapman made like Jackie Robinson, stealing home in the fourth inning. Trent Hammond, facing boos from his former classmates at Mira Costa (24-12), had a run-scoring single and a two-run single.
“It fired me up,” he said of the boos, “and every time I executed, the silence was amazing.”
Serra won its fourth section title of the school year, having already won in football, boys’ basketball and boys’ track.
Cypress wins Division 2
Flawless defense helped Cypress (26-8) defeat Temecula Valley, 5-0, to win the Division 2 championship. Pitcher Kevin Lillicrop threw a three-hitter and retired the first 13 batters in order. He struck out four, walked none and produced 11 ground-ball outs.
“They’re the best you can get,” Lillicrop said of an infield that includes third baseman Stephen Lohr, shortstop David Fletcher, second baseman Steven Andrade, first baseman Nick Valdez and catcher Tyler Alamo.
Valdez had a single and double. Alamo had two singles. Temecula Valley (23-6) made three errors.
Fletcher, headed to Loyola Marymount, made tough plays look routine.
“Our middle infielders are unbelievable,” Coach John Weber said. “The only thing that’s a bummer today is it’s the last day I get to see David Fletcher play.”
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