Former Trabuco Hills, Saddleback College standout pitcher Ryan Poe, 42, dies after infection


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Former Trabuco Hills High and Saddleback College standout pitcher Ryan Poe, 42, who became a successful youth baseball coach and a volunteered with Roosevelt High of Eastvale, died Friday at an Upland hospital from a staph infection that led to septic shock, his wife, Shelly, said.

Poe, the father of four children, suffered a sudden medical decline after injuring his collarbone March 28, his wife said.

Shelly said her husband was found to have undiagnosed diabetes and tested negative for the novel coronavius (COVID-19).

“Baseball and his family, that was his life,” she said of Poe, her high school sweetheart.

In Orange County, Poe was known as the right-handed pitcher with pin-point control who helped Saddleback College finish as the state champion runner-up to Sacramento City in 1998. It was the Gauchos’ first state tournament appearance since 1984.

Poe earned state player of the year honors in ’98, posting a 14-1 record with a 2.56 ERA. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 21st round and advanced as high as AA during his career in the minor leagues.

The year before his run with Saddleback College, Poe was a key, behind-the-scenes coach on the South Mission Viejo Little League team that lost to Mexico in the finals of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

Poe, then 19, threw batting practice to the team and was dubbed the “Miracle Worker” for his work with the squad of 11 and 12-year-old all-stars.

“I love Ryan. I feel really sad,” said Jim Gattis, the manager of the South Mission Viejo team who also served as Poe’s pitching coach under Jack Hodges at Saddleback College. “He coached a lot of kids. … It’s a real loss.”

Poe coached numerous youth baseball teams. His travel teams included the OC Smash, OC Crushers, Ladera Grays and Eastvale Smash. He also coached with Eastvale Little League.

“He was really advanced with (pitching) mechanics,” Gattis said. “Ryan was a good baseball guy.”

At Roosevelt High, Poe helped throw batting practice and worked with hitters, said Mustangs coach Kyle Billingsley. Poe’s son. Hayden, was a senior on this year’s team..

“He was a real good guy,” Billingsley said of Poe. “He was always around the field.”

The second-year coach learned of Poe’s deep connections with youth baseball when Roosevelt played Mission Viejo in the finals of the Newport Elks tournament at the Great Park in Irvine in late February.

Poe chatted with numerous people in a return to Orange County, which was made even more special with Hayden pitching 2 innings.

“He was like the mayor,” Billingsley said. “He knew everybody.”

Poe established the same bonds in Eastvale. He had last coached the Eastvale Little League team of his youngest son, Easton, 6.

He and Shelly also have a son Cade, 14, and daughter, Rylee, 10.

Billingsley said several youth baseball players are planning to ride past the Poe’s home in Eastvale on Sunday, April 5 in a parade to show their respect and appreciate for Poe. A gofundme page also has been established to help the family.

Shelly said she has been overwhelmed by the community’s support and with how many lives her husband touched through baseball. “Amazing,” she said.

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Orange County baseball slugging leaders through March 16


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Orange County baseball slugging leaders through March 16. | Coaches have until March 25 to email us their team leaders at preps@ocregister.com. |

Name, School Slugging % AB TB
Jonathon Long, Orange 1.276 29 37
Hudson Lehnertz, Foothill .800 30 24
Aaron Heraldez, Whittier Christian .783 23 18
Aidan Booth, Laguna Beach .750 24 18
Aaron Ceniceros, El Modena .750 20 15
Eric Jeon, Fullerton .741 27 20
Brett Aguirre, Crean Lutheran .733 15 11
Charlie Pillsbury, Laguna Beach .714 28 20
Danny Vasquez, Woodbridge .714 21 15
Noah Elorriaga, Troy .714 14 10
Jason Miranda, Orange .700 30 21
Brady Ashworth, Foothill .700 20 14
Dean Toigo, Yorba Linda .690 29 20
Ryan Berry, Capistrano Valley Christian .688 16 11
Andy Pham, Rancho Alamitos .676 34 23
Nathan Chong, Fullerton .667 27 18
Rowan Schneider, Sage Hill .667 9 6
Chris Schmidt, El Dorado .655 29 19
Freddie Madera, Buena Park .652 23 15
Noah Sudyka, Aliso Niguel .636 33 21
Chris Gaona, Godinez .636 22 14
AJ Anzai, Mission Viejo .632 19 12
Gavin Grahovac, Villa Park .629 35 22
David Shackelford, La Habra .621 29 18
Ulises Perez, La Quinta .621 29 18
Matt McGreevy, San Clemente .611 18 8

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No. 1 Cypress loses to Mira Costa in opening round of Boras Classic

SANTA ANA – The afternoon got off to an inauspicious beginning for the Mira Costa baseball team and pitcher Christian Bodlovich in the opening game of the Boras Classic.

After a one-out walk, Bodlovich gave up a two-run home run to Cypress’ pitcher Cameron Repetti.

The Centurions, who entered the game ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll and in the Cal-Hi Sports rankings, wouldn’t score again and would managed only two more hits.

Bodlovich, thanks to his arm and bat, helped the Mustangs record the 6-2 win over Cypress at Mater Dei High.

“It’s amazing how mentally tough he is,” Mira Costa coach Keith Ramsey said of Bodlovich. “No matter what the situation, he always finds a way to make pitches when it counts.

“It’s almost like he wills things and wills himself through some things mentally …he’s the toughest kid around.”

The Mustangs tied the game in the second inning as Nick Carpino drew a walk to force in a run and Kyle Karros’ grounder to short was mishandled, allowing another run to score.

In the third inning, Bodlovich showed his talents at the plate, hitting the go-ahead home run, which proved to be the winning run.

“I’m really good friends with Repetti, so those were battles, just glad I could get a pitch to hit,” Bodlovich said.

In the fifth, Bodlovich again came up in a big spot and singled to right-center, scoring Tyler Antrobius, who had entered as a pinch-runner.

Cypress tried to mount a comeback in the sixth as the first batters reached to load the bases with no outs.

Bodlovich got the next batter to line out to first baseman Dylan Dennis, who doubled off the runner at first for a double play. The next batter flew out to left to end the threat.

“I just dug deep and made some pitches,” Bodlovich said. “I knew I had my defense behind me and we got that double play ball.

“I trust my preparation. I know what I do and I stick to my approach, just going out after hitters and at the plate, just look for a pitch to drive … I believe in myself.”

Cypress, which had won seven in a row, plays Huntington Beach in a consolation bracket game Wednesday at noon at Mater Dei.

The Centurions are No. 1 in this week’s Orange County top 25.

Also in the Boras Classic:

Corona 4, Mater Dei 2: The Monarchs (8-7) fell behind 4-0 after four innings and lost at home in the first round to the Cougars (13-4).

Mater Dei plays a consolation-round game at home Wednesday at 9 a.m. against Simi Valley.

Corona plays Yucaipa on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Mater Dei in the second round.

-Steve Fryer contributed to this report.

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CIF-SS semifinals preview

CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL SEMIFINALS

TUESDAY

DIVISION 1

CAPISTRANO VALLEY (23-10) VS. ORANGE LUTHERAN (25-7)

Where, when: Hart Park/Orange, 3:15 p.m.

Outlook: Capistrano Valley, which finished second behind El Toro in the South Coast League, in the playoffs defeated three leagues champions – Desert Valley League champion Palm Desert 4-0 in the first round; Palomares League champion South Hills of West Covina 23-7 in the second round; and Dos Pueblos of Goleta 3-2 in the quarterfinals. Ryan Daugherty has been a terrific two-way player for the Cougars with a 7-3 pitching record and 2.01 ERA and 38 hits with 18 RBIs. Nathan Manning has 38 hits and 18 RBIs for Capistrano Valley. Joey Holman leads the Cougars in RBIs with 25. Matt Comnos is 7-2 with a 2.10 ERA for the Cougars. Orange Lutheran is Trinity League champion. In the playoffs the third-seeded Lancers defeated Moorpark 3-0 in the first round; Corona 5-3 in the second round; and Gahr of Cerritos 4-0 in the quarterfinals. Cole Winn, projected as an early-round draft choice, has been a pitching and hitting leader for the Lancers. He has 113 strikeouts in 67 innings. Max Rajcic and Christian Rodriguez also have been standout pitchers for Orange Lutheran. The winner plays the Foothill-Bishop Amat winner in the championship game Friday or Saturday at a site to be announced.

FOOTHILL (24-7) VS. BISHOP AMAT OF LA PUENTE (20-11-1)

Where, when: Bishop Amat HS, 3:15 p.m.

Outlook: Foothill, champion of the Crestview League, in the playoffs beat Santiago of Corona 11-5 in the first round; El Toro 2-1 in the second round; and Etiwanda 3-0 in the quarterfinals. Griffin Selby has a team-high 26 RBIs for the Knights. Chad Castillo has driven in 25 runs and is batting .413 for Foothill. Knights senior right-handed pitcher Sean Higgins is 7-2 with a 1.78 ERA and has driven in 22 runs. Ryan Taurek is 8-3 with a 1.97 ERA. Del Rey League champion Bishop Amat beat J.W. North of Riverside 5-4 in the first round; Valencia of Valencia 3-0 in the second round; and Cypress 5-2 in the quarterfinals. Richard Castro has a team-high 19 RBIs for the Lancers. Bishop Amat’s probable semifinals starting pitcher junior right-hander Blake Archuleta, also the school’s varsity football starting quarterback, is 8-3 with a 2.52 ERA. The winner plays the Capistrano Valley-Orange Lutheran winner in the Division 1 championship game Friday or Saturday at a site to be announced.

DIVISION 2

BECKMAN (25-3-1) VS. CAMARILLO (26-5)

Where, when: Camarillo High, 3:15 p.m.

Outlook: Beckman was the division’s top-seeded team. The Pacific Coast League-champion Patriots in the playoffs defeated Village Christian of Sun Valley 8-0 in the first round; Rio Mesa of Oxnard 10-4 in the second round; and Calabasas 7-2 in the quarterfinals. Senior shortstop Matt McLain is a four-year starter for Beckman. He signed with UCLA. Long Beach State signee Jared Platero, a senior right-hander, is part of the Patriots’ excellent pitching staff. Fourth-seeded Camarillo won the Coastal Canyon League championship. In the playoffs the Scorpions defeated Santa Barbara 11-2 in the first round; Murrieta Valley 9-2 in the second round; and Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth 6-0 in the quarterfinals. The winner plays the Yucaipa-Ayala winner in the championship game Friday or Saturday.

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Winn plays big role as Orange Lutheran ends quarterfinals ‘curse’ by beating Gahr

ORANGE – Cole Winn needed a few innings to locate his groove Saturday night, but once the Orange Lutheran ace found it, there wasn’t much Gahr’s pesky offense could do.

The senior right-hander withstood the visitors’ challenge the first two innings before turning dominant in the CIF Southern Section baseball quarterfinal, struck out 12 in just five innings, and delivered the biggest hits to send the Lancers to the Division 1 semifinals for the first time with a 4-0 triumph before a standing-room-only crowd at Hart Park.

Third-seeded Orange Lutheran (25-7) will take on Capistrano Valley (23-10) on Tuesday at Hart Park, and a victory would set up a title-game showdown with Foothill (24-7) or Bishop Amat (20-11-1).

The last time Orange Lutheran made it to a baseball final was 1991, when it was playing with other small schools at the fifth-tier 1-A level.

The Lancers are big time now, thanks to a lights-out pitching staff that’s thrown eight shutouts, two in the playoffs, and is carrying a 1.35 earned-run average.

“It’s nice to finally break the curse,” Lancers coach Eric Borba said. “This was our sixth time being in the (Division 1) quarterfinals (in 11 years), the first time we’ve won it. We broke the curse finally. The monkey’s off our back.”

Much of the credit goes to Winn, a transfer from Boulder, Colo., who has committed to TCU but has been projected as a first-round pick in the coming MLB draft. He labored through the first two innings, giving up three hits, walking two, and letting Gahr (22-9) get runners to second in both, and then allowed just one baserunner before Christian Rodriguez came on to throw two perfect innings in relief, striking out five.

“I was just too amped up, too excited for the game, and I didn’t breathe,” Winn said. “Once I started breathing – third inning, fourth inning – I started rolling, and it was a lot better.”

Gahr’s aggressive approach at the plate and its hitters’ ability to keep their at-bats alive rattled Winn early, pushed his pitch count to 49 after just two innings, and led to an early departure after he’d tossed 102.

It was just 1-0 then, after Caleb Ricketts singled with a shot up the middle that ricocheted off Gahr left-hander Jason Dressel with one out in the fourth and Winn followed with an RBI double to the gap in left-center, but Orange Lutheran sent nine men to the plate in the bottom of the fifth and pushed across three more runs before Rodriguez took the mound.

Gahr coach Gerardo Perez did all he could to slow the Lancers’ momentum, going to his bullpen four times in the inning as things got worse and worse. He yanked Dressel, who surrendered three hits and walked three, after just one fifth-inning pitch, then pulled right-hander Joel Martinez after he got a popout, then hit Chad Born with a pitch, then started with a 2-1 count on Elijah Burris.

On came Julian Sotelo, who threw two more balls to Burris, then gave up an opposite-field single to Max Rajcic to load the bases. Perez then called on left-hander Darius Garcia, who got a forceout at the plate for the second out. Winn followed with a single to right to bring home Burris, and Garcia then walked Caden Connor and Eric Adolphus to make it 4-0.

Right-hander Anthony Diaz got out of the inning by striking out Jackson Cloyd.

“We ran out two, three guys, and they weren’t able to throw strikes,” Perez explained. “A couple of free passes, and (Orange Lutheran was) able to score some run without having to work too hard for it. (I had a short leash on the pitchers because) your back’s against the wall, it’s 1-0, and you’ve got Cole Winn. You can’t let it get too far away, like 2-0 or 3-0.”

When it did get away, there wasn’t much Gahr could do. The Gladiators got just one hit after the second inning, Michael Perez’s second single of the evening, and didn’t make a whole lot of contact. Seventeen of the 26 batters to come to the plate struck out.

“Cole had to fight for every pitch tonight, and he made some big ones,” Borba said. “There’s a reason why he’s the best pitcher in California and maybe in the country. He made big pitches when he had to, and then Chris Rodriguez came in and was absolutely lights out.

“This team is built on pitching, and I think you saw that today. We’ve got to pitch well, and it gives us a chance if you can pitch well and play defense, and I think we did exactly that tonight. We did what we had to do.”

Gahr was left lamenting the opportunities that got away. Michael Perez led off the game with a single, then, after Xavier Estrada struck out, was picked off at first. Tyrese Turner then singled and Brandon Shiota walked. Winn got out of trouble by striking out Matthew Polk.

Winn struck out three in the second inning – he’d do so again in the fourth – but Gahr got two on again, through Delvan Gomez’s leadoff single and a two-out walk to Andrew Householder. Winn struck out Michael Perez to end the threat, and the Gladiators got on base just one more time the rest of the way.

“I think we were competitive. We didn’t make it easy on them,” Gerardo Perez said. “We had a couple of leadoff hitters on in the first two innings. … Had we (moved them along) and got to a 1-0 lead, 2-0 lead, who knows what would have happened. But at the end of the day, when you face a pitcher like that, you don’t have a whole lot of room for error.”

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CIF-SS baseball playoffs: Friday’s scores, updated second-round schedule

Scores from Friday’s games in the CIF-SS baseball playoffs, and the updated schedule for the second round.

DIVISION 1

First round, Friday

Valencia 8, Harvard-Westlake 4

Bishop Amat 5, Riverside North 4

Hart 3, Los Alamitos 0

Cypress 5, Mission Viejo 4

El Toro 3, Dana Hills 1

Foothill 11, Santiago/Corona 5

Etiwanda 8, JSerra 4

La Mirada 6, Woodbridge 2 (12)

Orange Lutheran 3, Moorpark 0

Corona 8, Redlands East Valley 3

Gahr 6, Chaminade 3

Mira Costa 2, West Ranch 1

Capistrano Valley 4, Palm Desert 0

South Hills 2, Servite 1

Dos Pueblos 6, Newbury Park 5

Huntington Beach 9, Vista Murrieta 1

Second round

Tuesday, May 22, 3:15 p.m.

Bishop Amat at Valencia

Hart at Cypress

Foothill at El Toro

La Mirada at Etiwanda

Orange Lutheran at Corona

Mira Costa at Gahr

South Hills at Capistrano Valley

Huntington Beach at Dos Pueblos

 

DIVISION 3

First round, Friday

Maranatha 10, Palos Verdes 2

Grace Brethren 2, West Torrance 0

Arlington 3, San Gorgonio 2

San Luis Obispo 6, Oxnard 0

Redlands 2, Crean Lutheran 0

Ocean View 7, Brea Olinda 3

Santa Fe 8, Downey 4

San Dimas 10, Linfield Christian 0

Temecula Valley 6, Valley View 2

La Salle 5, Charter Oak 0

Long Beach Poly 2, Fullerton 0

Temescal Canyon 6, Pacifica/Garden Grove 1

Capistrano Valley Christian 1, Rancho Cucamonga 0

Bellflower 4, Cantwell-Sacred Heart 1

Long Beach Wilson 6, Katella 0

Arcadia 2, Santa Monica 0

Second round

Tuesday, May 22, 3:15 p.m.

Maranatha at Grace Brethren

Arlington at San Luis Obispo

Redlands at Ocean View

San Dimas at Santa Fe

Temecula Valley at La Salle

Long Beach Poly at Temescal Canyon

Capistrano Valley Christian at Bellflower

Arcadia at Long Beach Wilson

 

DIVISION 5

First round, Friday

Garey 12, Arrowhead Christian 0

La Sierra 11, Yucca Valley 2

Summit 12, Garden Grove 1

Santa Maria St. Joseph 9, Buckley 0

Sunny Hills 8, Mary Star 1

Southlands Christian 7, St. Margaret’s 4

Rim of the World 5, Academy for Academic Excellence 0

Malibu 2, Rancho Alamitos 0

Rancho Christian 2, Oxford Academy 0

Muir 5, Twentynine Palms 2

Estancia 3, Anaheim 2

El Rancho 6, Santa Paula 0

Temple City 9, La Quinta/Westminster 6

Highland 6, Flintridge Prep 5 (11)

Schurr 3, Whittier Christian 2

Ontario Christian 11, Saddleback Valley Christian 1

Second round

Tuesday, May 22, 3:15 p.m.

Garey at La Sierra

Summit at St. Joseph/Santa Maria

Southlands Christian at Sunny Hills

Rim of the World at Malibu

Rancho Christian at Muir

Estancia at El Rancho

Highland at Temple City

Schurr at Ontario Christian

 

DIVISION 7

First round

University Prep 24, Riverside County Education Academy 5

Environmental Charter 10, Fairmont Prep 1

St. Genevieve 2, Arroyo 0

Fillmore 21, Newbury Park Adventist 0

La Verne Lutheran 16, Calvary Christian 2

Dominguez 2, St. Monica Academy 0

Mammoth 14, Redlands Adventist 3

Orange Vista 2, Mountain View 0

Trinity Classical 6, Santa Maria Valley Christian 5

Bloomington Christian 3, Oakwood 1

Vistamar 15, Tarbut V’Torah 2

Upland Christian 10, Riverside Bethel Christian 0

Academy for Careers and Exploration 20, Silver Valley 4

Da Vinci 13, Lennox Academy 0

Cate 5, Vasquez 4

de Toledo 33, Hillcrest Christian 0

Second round

Tuesday, May 22, 3:15 p.m.

University Prep at Environmental Charter

St. Genevieve at Fillmore

La Verne Lutheran at Dominguez

Mammoth at Orange Vista

Trinity Classical at Bloomington Christian

Vistamar at Upland Christian

Da Vinci at Academy for Careers and Exploration

de Toledo at Cate

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Suarez helps Irvine end baseball season with second victory in a row over Northwood

IRVINE – It has been a tough season for Irvine’s baseball team, but the Vaqueros were able to finish strong with two straight Pacific Coast League victories this week over crosstown rival Northwood.

The latest came Thursday afternoon when the Vaqueros held on for a 4-2 victory over the visiting Timberwolves, who were trying to lock up third place. Northwood (15-11, 5-10) is still hoping to qualify as an at-large team in the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs.

“It’s nice when people say ‘you’re not playing for anything,’ but we’re always playing for something,” said Irvine coach Gabriel Cota. “I talked to them when I first took over about the number one goal of the program is to make the best people possible and if we can use baseball as an avenue to do that, that’s great but we will worry about the person first and baseball second. Of course we want to win games, that’s the whole reason we’re out here.

“But they showed their character and the team showed what kind of people they are because they just continued to compete no matter the circumstance, so I’m really proud of them.”

Irvine (8-18, 3-12) got solid pitching from Alex Suarez, who pitched the first 4⅔ innings to get the win. Suarez, who gave up two runs, did not allow a hit through three innings and struck out two.

“It was a great team win,” Suarez said. “We were all out there battling for each other. We were just trying to get a win, to go out in style.”

Roman Loera, Miles Malohn and Jacob Blanchet finished on the mound for Irvine.

Chris Schwent had two hits and scored two runs, Kaden Nguyen and Daniel Simonella had RBI singles and Marc Filia reached base three times and scored a run for Irvine.

Luke Chaikovsky got an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the third inning and Blanchet drove in another run when he reached on an error to give the Vaqueros a 4-0 lead.

Ely Stuart helped Northwood get back in the game with a two-run single in the fifth inning to trim the lead to 4-2. Northwood also had two runners on in the sixth inning but couldn’t score.

Ben Berkel started on the mound for Northwood but had to come out in the second inning because of arm soreness.

“We were just unlucky today but we didn’t do a very good job of making our own breaks,” said Northwood coach Rob Stuart. “Ben Berkel coming up sore was devastating. We had to take him out early.”

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Woodbridge baseball clinches playoff spot in final game for longtime coach Bob Flint

IRVINE – Two longtime Orange County high school baseball coaches, Corona del Mar head coach John Emme and Woodbridge assistant Bob Flint, were honored Thursday night after an exciting and well-pitched Pacific Coast League finale at Ryan Lemmon Stadium.

Woodbridge won the game with one out in the ninth inning when Jeff Quezada was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, helping Woodbridge capture a 1-0 victory over CdM to clinch third place and a berth in the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs.

Corona del Mar (19-6, 12-3) finished second and is headed to the Division 2 playoffs.

Woodbridge coach Ryan Brucker, left, with assistant coach Bob Flint Thursday night. Brucker played for Flint when Flint was the Irvine head coach. (Photo by Tim Burt, Correspondent)
Woodbridge coach Ryan Brucker, left, with assistant coach Bob Flint Thursday night. Brucker played for Flint when Flint was the Irvine head coach. (Photo by Tim Burt, Correspondent)

After the game, Guy Lemmon of the Ryan Lemmon Foundation praised the contributions and dedication of both coaches in a ceremony on the field.

It was a memorable final game for the 73-year-old Flint, who will be on a family trip when the CIF playoffs begin. Flint’s 50-year coaching career included a 20-year stint as Irvine High’s head coach and a seven-year tenure as Woodbridge’s head coach. He also coached with Woodbridge head coach Ryan Brucker for three years when Brucker was Irvine’s head coach.

Flint has had heart issues in the past but said his health has improved and he has been given the OK by his cardiologist to make a trip later this week.

“My grandson is graduating from a high school in Singapore and it’s in two weeks and with the price of the flights and all that stuff, we got to go Sunday,” Flint said.

He added: “The voice isn’t the same, my hearing is not as good, it’s just time. I’m going to stay involved. I’ll scout for Ryan next year and if anybody wants help with pitchers I’ll help. I’ll help tomorrow, but I may not help the next day. I may need a nap.”

Brucker, who played for Flint at Irvine, said Flint will be missed.

“As far as people who have influenced me and my life as a human being, he means the world to me,” Brucker said. “He was like a second dad. He was the one who told me when I was 16 that he thought I would make a good coach. He’s always been a mentor to me and someone who has had a huge influence in my life. It’s going to be hard not having him around.”

A number of Flint’s former players were on hand to share stories after the game.

Each coach also received game balls from their team.

It was the final regular season game for Emme.

“To go out with Bob Flint is amazing,” said Emme, who is retiring from coaching after 31 years but will continue to teach at CdM.

“He was one of the kings of baseball when I started at CdM and 81 years of coaching between the two of us (50 for Flint and 31 for Emme) and that’s pretty cool to be able to end my last regular season game with him. He’s been a true friend and a mentor and someone I’ve always looked up to.”

There wasn’t much scoring but a lot of drama in Thursday’s game. The Woodbridge players knew going into the game they could lock up a playoff berth with a victory after Irvine defeated Northwood 4-2 earlier in the day.

The starting pitchers were outstanding. CdM’s Chazz Martinez had a no-hitter until Kyle Giberson broke it up with one out in the seventh. Martinez wound up with 11 strikeouts and allowed just one hit in seven innings.

Woodbridge starter Scott Armstrong was also stellar, allowing just three hits and recording eight strikeouts in eight innings. Will Rudy, who came on in the ninth inning, got the victory after retiring the side in order.

Woodbridge (13-13, 6-9) got singles from Giberson and Wesley Hill in the ninth and Rudy was walked intentionally to load the bases with one out.

“What a great high school baseball game,” Brucker said. “Their guy was just outstanding tonight. He would have no-hit a lot of teams tonight. For our guys to stay with it and keep battling, I was really, really proud of that effort.”

“It was great defense, great everything,” Emme added. “Good for them getting in the playoffs and now we’re going to focus on our job in the playoffs. We’re confident, but Armstrong showed us what we’re going to see in the playoffs. He was filthy today and he was getting strikes low and up and he was hitting spots and that’s what we’re going to have to beat to succeed in the playoffs.”

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Schlomovits leaves his mark on University’s victory over Northwood

IRVINE – University starting pitcher David Schlomovits is in the clean-up spot of the batting order for a reason.

Not only did Schlomovits get the win on the mound Friday, but he ripped the eventual game-winning home run to help University defeat Northwood 2-1 in a Pacific Coast League baseball game at University High. .

Schlomovits belted a solo home run to right-center field with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning then got the first two outs of the seventh to earn the win.

Pitchers can still hit #Breakthetie pic.twitter.com/3QjwE6ALq2

— David Schlomovits ™ (@DSchlomovits) April 21, 2018

“It was the first pitch and I was looking for a fastball on the inner half and he threw it on the inner half and I got it, got it elevated and it carried out and broke the 1-1 tie,” Schlomovits said of his home run in the sixth inning. “It’s a huge victory, it helps our morale, especially since we had kind of a losing skid. We played well as a team.”

Third-place Northwood (15-5, 5-4) tried to battle back in the top of the seventh.

With one out, Ely Stuart and Darren Shorter singled. Julian Tristan grounded out to put runners on second and third with two outs.

Schlomovits reached the CIF pitch count for the week and was replaced on the mound by Brad Hodges.

With Tom McCarty at the plate, a pitch went to the backstop, but bounced back toward catcher Kahi Rodrigues. The pinch-runner at third initially broke toward home, then tried to get back to third. But Rodrigues and shortstop Jackson LoBianco got him in a rundown and Rodrigues eventually made the tag to end the game.

“We got a lucky bounce and we were able to take advantage of it,” said University coach Mike Gerakos. “We had to throw the ball around a little bit to get the out and we did.”

Schlomovits struck out six, allowed four hits, hit four batters and walked one. Adam Barnett had two hits for the Trojans (11-8, 3-6).

Northwood jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when shortstop Ely Stuart belted his fourth home run of the season leading off the game. The Timberwolves had the bases loaded with one out, but Schlomovits worked out of trouble without any more runs scoring.

“He gives up a lead-off home run and they have the bases loaded and one out and he doesn’t flinch,” Gerakos said. “He competed all the way through. To his credit, and the credit of the team, they battled.

“It was obviously a great win and a crazy finish but we will take it any way we can. It’s been a while since we’ve had that type of success.”

Northwood starter Ben Berkel also pitched well, allowing just five hits.

University tied the game in the fourth inning when Nick Wetzel doubled, went to third on an error and scored on an infield single by Barnett.

Northwood wound up taking two of the three games against University.

“The reality is in game one of the series, they could have won and we could have won game three,” said Northwood coach Rob Stuart. “Baseball has a strange way of evening itself out. Ben threw outstanding and David pitched with a lot of heart.”

Ely Stuart led Northwood with two hits and reached base three times.

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Miller helps JSerra find way to knock off Orange Lutheran

ORANGE – JSerra’s baseball team used a terrific outing by Andrew Miller and a four-run second inning to defeat Orange Lutheran 6-3 in a Trinity League game Friday night at Hart Park.

The Lions (13-7, 3-3), ranked third in Orange County, needed the win to avoid being swept in their three-game series this week with the No. 2 Lancers (14-6, 4-2), who are tied for first in league with Servite.

The Lions were successful bunting on three consecutive at-bats, including a pair of squeeze plays to take a 4-0 lead in the second inning.

JSerra coach Brett Kay decided to be aggressive with runners in scoring position.

“We haven’t been a really good bunting team this year, but tonight it worked out and that’s the small ball mentality,” Kay said. “Sometimes we’re going to use it and sometimes we’re not, but tonight we were very fortunate to be able to use it.”

JSerra also took advantage of a couple of second-inning errors by the Lancers, who committed four errors total.

On the mound, Miller turned in a masterful performance as he struck out seven batters in 6.1 innings of work.

“He was exceptional in every facet.” Kay said. “Andrew was Andrew tonight. He was commanding both sides of the plate, using his breaking ball when he needed to and his changeup when he needed to.

“You could tell he was locked in from the beginning and he wanted the ball.”

In the seventh Orange Lutheran was able to chase Miller from the game while scoring a pair of runs, but Tim Scarlett was able to get the save by getting the final two outs.

“We weren’t able to find our rhythm at the plate tonight until the seventh but it was too little too late,” Lancers coach Eric Borba said.

JSerra will face Mater Dei next week while the Lancers meet Servite for an important three-game series.

“We go into every week the same, we don’t worry about the standings until it really matters,” Borba said. “It’s one game at a time and every series is gonna be a grind.”

 

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