El Segundo Earns Trip to State; Westchester Loses in a Rout : Baseball: Claremont pitcher is overpowering in 10-0 playoff victory over Westchester.


For those of you keeping score, mark it Matt Wise 2, Westchester 0.

The Westchester American Legion baseball team, looking to avenge a 4-2 loss to Claremont and pitcher Wise in last year's Area 6 playoffs, ran into trouble Thursday at UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Right-hander Wise shut down Westchester for seven innings, striking out eight and giving up only three hits, to lead Claremont to a 10-0 rout of the District 24 champions in the first round of the Area 6 playoffs.

The game, which was called after eight innings because of the 10-run rule, drops Westchester's record to 19-4 and 3-4 in nonleague play. Claremont improved to 36-9-2.

"He threw a good game," Westchester first baseman Tremayne Noles said of Wise, who gave up only one hit after the first inning to improve his record to 12-0. "He kept the ball moving around, and he had a lot of guys off balance. Wise is a good pitcher. You've got to give him credit."

Credit the Claremont offense as well. Claremont batters mugged Westchester pitchers Robby Green (5-2) and Jelani Ferguson for 12 hits, most of them coming in back-to-back four-run innings in the third and fourth.

Claremont right fielder Jeff Simpson (four for five with two doubles and four runs batted in) and left fielder Steve Biernacki (three for five with three RBI) led the attack.

"They had a couple of key hits into the gap," Westchester Coach Todd Frelinger said. "But Wise dominated the game. We hit him hard in the first inning, but after that he just dominated. Robby Green wasn't on today. He just didn't have his best stuff.

"We were all out of sync, but their pitcher is very dominating. I mean, we can't win if we can't score runs."

Westchester, which enters the loser's bracket of the double-elimination tournament, will play District 24 runner-up Beverly Hills (15-3) at 10 this morning. Beverly Hills lost to Woodland Hills East, 11-2, in Thursday's first game. Beverly Hills' only two losses before Thursday came to Westchester during the District 24 regular season.

"We've just got to rebound," Noles said. "Competition is a lot tougher in the playoffs--it's not like district play (in which Westchester went 16-0). We have to get our confidence back up. I think we lost our confidence by about the third inning today, so we have to play better tomorrow."

Los Angeles Times Articles