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PREP BASEBALL ROUNDUP : McDonald Comes Through in Clutch Once Again as Mater Dei Defeats Dana Hills

April 29, 1993|CHRIS FOSTER

Mater Dei beat back another challenger Wednesday, surviving as it has much of the season on the strength of Mike McDonald.

McDonald's pitching and hitting were the keys to the Monarchs' 9-3 victory over Dana Hills, which had slipped into the South Coast League title race in the last two weeks.

The Dolphins (13-8, 6-4) had won six consecutive league games to move to within one game of first-place Mater Dei (16-4, 8-2). But, as the Monarchs had done when Capistrano Valley challenged them two weeks ago, they turned to McDonald for a "must-win" game.

McDonald, a senior, wasn't at his best on the mound. He gave up home runs to Mike Whittaker and Sean Etherton. But he allowed little else.

"That was the fourth straight game that Mike wasn't on his game," Coach Bob Ickes said. "He couldn't get his curve or a split-finger over. But he wins."

McDonald (7-1) won this time by relying on his fastball, which is not overpowering. He struck out four. But he gave up only six hits--two of which didn't leave the infield--and stranded six runners.

He also broke open the game with a two-run double in the sixth that gave the Monarchs a 7-3 lead. McDonald had three hits, two of which were doubles, and three runs batted in.

"I think we play with more intensity with him out there," said catcher Matt Treanor, who had two hits and two RBIs. "We know he's going to give us a good game on the mound and get the big hit."

Mater Dei took a 2-0 lead in the first inning but left the bases loaded. The Monarchs stranded nine runners and seven others were cut down on the base paths.

Dana Hills got even in the second, as a two-out error was followed by Whittaker's first home run.

But the Monarchs scored three in the third, two on a two-out error by right fielder Chris Fogleson. It was all McDonald needed.

Said Treanor: "When Mike's pitching, we just know we're going to win."

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