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Road Show a Royal Smash

Division I: Highlanders advance to baseball quarterfinals by routing host Notre Dame, 13-4.


SHERMAN OAKS — Royal High's road warriors marched on Tuesday, trouncing Notre Dame, 13-4, in the second round of the Southern Section Division I baseball playoffs at Notre Dame.

The Highlanders (18-8), who won a wild-card game at Hueneme and a first-round game at Palmdale last week, will play host to Crespi on Friday in a quarterfinal. Royal lost to the Celts, 4-3, in eight innings in the El Segundo tournament.

"We just come out aggressive and ready to play," said Royal designated hitter Mike Rainer, who had two doubles and three runs batted in Tuesday.

Royal, which lost to cross-town rival Simi Valley, 12-1, in a regular-season finale, has outscored three playoff opponents, 39-9. Three more victories and the sting of finishing second in league play by half a game will disappear in the glow of a section title.

Royal trailed Notre Dame, 2-0, after two innings and 3-2 after three. But the Highlanders seized the lead for good with two runs in the fourth. They added two runs in the sixth and seven in the seventh.

"It was a great game for six innings and I like the way it ended," Royal Coach Dan Maye said. "We got down but we didn't panic. We were hitting the ball well and we didn't start thinking, 'Oh no, it's one of those days.' "

Notre Dame (20-9) scored twice in the first. Sean Hanrahan singled in Jorge Piedra from third, advanced to second on a wild pitch and was singled in by Kevin Jerkins.

Royal tied the score in the third. Tyrone Kimbrough reached first on an error, went to third on a double by Bobby Egan and scored when Brett Wayne hit into a double play. Egan moved to third and was singled home by Matt Pesso.

Notre Dame regained the lead, 3-2, in the third when Piedra walked, took second on a wild pitch and was singled in by Hanrahan.

Royal's fourth-inning rally began when Dan Daugherty singled and moved to second on a fielder's choice with one out. Egan followed with a two-out walk and Rainer hit a two-run double.

In the final two innings, Royal collected six hits to go with four walks, a hit batter and three wild pitches by Notre Dame. It added up to an ugly ending for the Knights, third-place finishers in the Mission League.

Notre Dame starter Jerkins (5-3) allowed nine hits and six runs in 5 1/3 innings. The Knights committed four errors.

Royal's Mike Byer (7-3) pitched five-plus innings for the victory and Gabe Gapol earned his sixth save.

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