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Cypress Runs Out of Gas in National Classic Final


After pulling out one-run victories in the first three rounds of the National Classic, Cypress appeared to be out of magic after surrendering 10 runs to La Puente Bishop Amat in the first inning of Thursday's championship game at Cal State Fullerton.

Bishop Amat went on to win the title, 13-7, but not before Cypress pulled itself together and put a scare into the Lancers.

Rusty Murray failed to retire a batter in the first, giving up three singles and three walks before being pulled in favor of Travis Bartosh, who gave up four more hits and a walk before finally getting out of the mess.

But Mark Fitzgerald's three-run double in the fifth inning brought Cypress within 13-7, and the Centurions went on to show that they can't be counted out of any game, no matter the deficit.

"Our players could have easily hung their heads after that first inning and said, 'Well, that's the way it goes,' " Cypress Coach Dave Lewis said, "but they didn't."

After Fitzgerald's double, Christian Vitters drew a walk to give the Centurions (14-6) runners on second and third with two outs. But Bishop Amat reliever Adam Simon, who replaced starter Andrew Soto only to give up Fitzgerald's big hit, retired Scott Moore on a fly out to left.

Lancer second baseman David Pierson, who singled twice in the first inning and added another single in the sixth, was selected as tournament MVP. Mike Lange also had three singles for Bishop Amat (16-2).

After giving up only 10 runs in the first three games of the tournament, the Cypress pitching staff surrendered 12 hits and eight walks Thursday. Lewis said Murray was fatigued after being called on twice to warm up and then pitch two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday night's victory over Esperanza.

Nonetheless, the Centurions should be optimistic heading into the final stretch of the regular season as they try to catch El Dorado and Katella in the Empire League standings. Despite the lopsided loss Thursday, Century is coming on strong.

"I think I will look back and see that we went 3-1 and got to the championship game when 14 other teams didn't," Lewis said. "If we can repeat the emotion and intensity we had the last four days, we can compete with anyone."

In the third-place game:

Esperanza 4, Orlando (Fla.) Lake Highland 3--David Nicholson was two for three with two RBIs for the Aztecs (17-3), who won with two runs in the third and fourth innings. Mark Davidson (1-0) earned the victory and Greg Miller worked the sixth and seventh to pick up his sixth save.

In the consolation championship:

El Dorado 8, Tracy James Logan 7--Joe Turgeon's bases-clearing double in the fourth provided the winning margin for the Golden Hawks (16-4). Jeff Flaig also had three hits.

In the San Luis Obispo tournament:

Dana Hills 7, Arroyo Grande 0--Matt Falk, who earlier pitched a four-hitter against Abbeyville (Ind.) in a 12-2 victory, had two RBIs for the Dolphins (6-11-1) in their second pool-play game. Adam Blankenbiller had three RBIs against Abbeyville.

In the championship game of the San Jose West Coast Classic:

Edison 6, No. 2 Mater Dei 3--Pinch-hitter Jeff Gilmore doubled home the tying and go-ahead runs for the Chargers (13-6-1) in the sixth at Santa Clara. Starter Tim Robertson (2-0) got the win and reliever David Huff pitched two innings to pick up his first save.

In a consolation game:

Santa Margarita 6, Calvary Chapel 6--Catcher Matt Woolley singled home Michael Foley with two outs in the bottom of the seventh for the Eagles (12-9).

Will Noble and Matt Cusick each had three hits, and David Lagrew (5-1) went the distance, giving up seven hits. Josh Graves' two-run double in the top of the inning tied the score for Calvary Chapel (12-7).

San Jose Archbishop Mitty 10, Foothill 2--Dan Dressman and Justin Pors each had two hits and combined for five RBIs for Archbishop Mitty (19-3). Bob Hamer drove in both runs for Foothill (13-7) with a fourth-inning triple.

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