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Camarillo Toppled by Royal Surprise


SIMI VALLEY — Surprise starter Matt Rainer came up steady for Royal High in a 2-1 Marmonte League victory Wednesday against visiting Camarillo.

Rainer, a 6-foot-5 junior right-hander and an 11th-hour selection over senior left-hander Adrian Mendoza, limited Camarillo to four singles over five innings while striking out four and walking none.

For Royal (20-2, 9-2 in league play), the victory avenged an earlier loss to Camarillo (17-4, 8-3) and left-hander Mike Corral (7-2). It also moved the first-place Highlanders a game ahead of Camarillo with three games to play.

Camarillo defeated Royal, 7-2, with Mendoza on the mound March 29. Camarillo Coach Scott Cline, whose team managed only seven hits Friday in a 3-1 loss at Newbury Park, expected to see a rematch of left-handers.

"We are just not swinging the bat right now," Cline said.

Rainer (2-0) allowed a run on two hits in the first inning. Rodell Desamparo bunted to reach base to begin the game and eventually scored from third on an infield error. From there, Rainer had little trouble. He closed the fifth by striking out cleanup hitter Joe Borchard with runners at first and second.

"I needed to throw strikes and I was hitting my spots with my fastball," Rainer said. "I hadn't seen them in a while and my arm felt really good."

Royal Coach Dan Maye said he chose Rainer for a change of pace.

"They don't know who he is," Maye said. "I imagine they were doing what we were doing all week--taking batting practice against lefties."

Royal scored single runs in the first and second inning before the game became a pitcher's duel. Zack Gordon's single scored Dorian Stitt from third in the first. In the second, Kevin Mellinger scored from third on the front end of a double steal.

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