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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Orange Lutheran rides four-run sixth to victory over St. John Bosco in the Trinity League

  • St. John Bosco’s JonJon Vaughns is out at second as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon. April 13, 2018 (Photo by Tracey Roman for SCNG)

    St. John Bosco’s JonJon Vaughns is out at second as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon. April 13, 2018 (Photo by Tracey Roman for SCNG)

  • St. John Bosco’s Alberto Rios makes the catch as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

    St. John Bosco’s Alberto Rios makes the catch as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

  • St. John Bosco’s Noah Gomez is safe at first as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

    St. John Bosco’s Noah Gomez is safe at first as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

  • St. John Bosco’s Albert Rios is called out at second as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

    St. John Bosco’s Albert Rios is called out at second as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

  • St. John Bosco’s Noah Gomez is safe at third as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

    St. John Bosco’s Noah Gomez is safe at third as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

  • St. John Bosco’s Kyle Moats gets things started for the Braves as they take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

    St. John Bosco’s Kyle Moats gets things started for the Braves as they take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

  • St. John Bosco’s Kyle Moats gets the out at home as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

    St. John Bosco’s Kyle Moats gets the out at home as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

  • St. John Bosco’s Martin Robles waits for the right pitch as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

    St. John Bosco’s Martin Robles waits for the right pitch as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

  • St. John Bosco’s Alberto Rios is out at first as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

    St. John Bosco’s Alberto Rios is out at first as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

  • St. John Bosco’s JonJon Vaughns is out at second as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

    St. John Bosco’s JonJon Vaughns is out at second as the Braves take on Orange Lutheran Friday afternoon.

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BELLFLOWER — The opportunities were there for Orange Lutheran early in Friday afternoon’s showdown at St. John Bosco, but Braves left-hander Kyle Moats worked his way out of trouble a couple of times while giving up just a couple of hits in five shutout innings.

Bosco’s bullpen wasn’t nearly so sharp, and the Lancers feasted in the sixth inning, bringing home four runs en route to a 5-1 triumph that left them where they want to be one week into the Trinity League baseball season.

Christian Rodriguez allowed just one run in a complete-game performance and Orange Lutheran (12-5, 2-1 Trinity) claimed the rubber game in the first of five three-game series that will determine the champion in a six-team race that’s far too close to predict.

Max Rajcic had the big hit, a two-run single to right that provided a 2-1 edge with none out on the sixth, as the Lancers, ranked No. 3 in CIF Southern Section Division 1, captured its second in a row after dropping Tuesday’s series opener to the defending Trinity champs.

“It’s a huge win,” Orange Lutheran coach Eric Borba said. “It’s the goal of every team every year to win the Trinity League, and if you drop two out of three in the first week, it makes it very difficult. We put ourselves in a good spot to go out there and hopefully do the same thing next week [against fifth-ranked JSerra] and out ourselves into position for later in the year.”

Rodriguez struck out six, walked four and got out of jams in the first and third innings but fell behind in the bottom of the fifth, when he issued a one-out walk to Noah Gomez, Kameron Guangorena followed with a check-swing infield hit, and David Hays singled to right to score the run.

Braves coach Don Barbara went to right-hander Ty Collins in the sixth, and Orange Lutheran sent nine batters to the plate. Zach Lew’s opposite-field single started the inning, and Caleb Ricketts and Cole Winn walked to load the bases. Rajcic followed with his single, and Winn came home on Brandon Heidal’s two-out safety squeeze up the first-base line. Carl Lawson then delivered a double to right to make it 4-1.

“We faced three left-handers this week, and all year we’ve had fits with left-handers,” Borba said. “So once we got the righty into the game, I think our guys’ eyes got big and we felt a little more confidence, and you saw what can happen when we have confidence.”

The Lancers added another in the seventh off Oscar Favela, who came on to close the sixth. Caden Connor led off with a walk, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Ricketts’ groundout.

Moats came up big in the second for Bosco (8-7, 1-2) after Orange Lutheran loaded the bases on an error, a single and a walk. He got Elijah Buries to pop up, struck out Heidal on three pitches after starting with a three-ball count, then struck out Kyle Ford. The Lancers got Evan Adolphus to third in the third, but he was thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch, the first of two inning-ending outs at the plate for them.

“Kyle did a great job, and I thought we had our bullpen set to finish off the game, and we just didn’t do it,” Barbara said. “[Moats] had it set up, and our bullpen has [barely] been used all week, so I figured these guys are ready to go.”

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