Baseball: Freshman Nick Pratto ignites Mater Dei

Freshman Nick Pratto of Mater Dei has already committed to USC.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Ana Mater Dei (12-12) has won four consecutive Trinity League games to move within striking distance of making the Southern Section Division 1 playoffs after its chances were looking pretty bleak.

Freshman pitcher Nick Pratto has thrown consecutive shutouts against Servite and St. John Bosco and is beginning to live up to the preseason hype when he committed to USC before throwing a single varsity pitch. The Monarchs rested him early on because of some arm issues, but now he’s healthy and dominating.

Mater Dei needs a win over JSerra on Tuesday at JSerra or Thursday at Mater Dei to qualify for a Division I wild-card spot.

Last season, the Monarchs were seeded No. 1 but were upset by Huntington Beach in the first round. This season, if they get in, with Pratto and Notre Dame-bound Charlie Vorsheck, they could be very dangerous.