SANTA ANA – It is still early in the season, but Arcadia and Mater Dei are two teams trending in opposite directions.
The Apaches used a four-run third inning to propel them to a 5-3 victory over the Monarchs Friday night at Mater Dei High.
Arcadia, the top-ranked team in CIF-SS Division 3, improved to 9-0 this season while Mater Dei fell to 1-4.
The Monarchs took a 2-1 lead in the second inning as Apaches starter Jacob Morales struggled with his command, hitting two batters and walking two more.
But that lead was short lived as Arcadia responded by loading the bases in the third and using a couple of squeeze plays to take the lead 3-2.
Andrew Scanell provided the pivotal hit, a two-RBI single that gave the Apaches a 5-2 lead.
“For us to respond right away (in the third) and answer back just shows the character of our team.” said Arcadia coach Nick Lemas.
Morales was pulled after the second inning and gave way to relief pitcher Chris Wilson, who collected the win with six strikeouts in five innings of work.
Wilson got stronger late in the game as he struck out the side in the fifth in the midst of retiring 13 batters in a row.
“Without him we’re not 9-0. Hhe’s done a tremendous job for us coming out of the pen.” Lemas said of his star reliever.
The Monarchs threatened Arcadia late as Emilio Rosas supplied an RBI double to bring Mater Dei within two, but Chad Call grounded out to shortstop Jeffrey Castillo to end the game.
Mater Dei coach Burt Call said he is not too concerned with the team’s lack of offensive production so far. After five games, the Monarchs are averaging just 2.4 runs per game.
“It’s early and we’re trying to find our rhythm, so it’s just a matter of our team just relaxing and playing the game.” said Call.
“We have to be able to swing the bats better and that will come.”
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