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High Schools | SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL PLAYOFFS

Poly and Mater Dei Advance to Division I Final

June 01, 2005|Dan Arritt, Peter Yoon | From Times Staff Reports

With the abundance of youth on the baseball field Tuesday afternoon in the Southern Section Division I semifinal between Riverside Poly and Placentia El Dorado, it was no surprise the game came down to a match between two underclassmen.

The starting lineups for both sides featured two freshmen, eight sophomores, six juniors and only four seniors.

Poly sophomore right-hander Kyle Ocampo got freshman Brandon Ertle to hit into a force play with the bases loaded, preserving a 3-2 victory for the top-seeded Bears at Blair Field in Long Beach.

Poly (26-3) advanced to the championship game Saturday night at Angel Stadium against Santa Ana Mater Dei, which beat Moreno Valley Canyon Springs, 7-1, in the second game.

"I did see Ertle hitting a line drive in right-center field in that last at-bat," said Coach Steve Gullotti of El Dorado (16-13). "He was due. [Ocampo] made a good pitch on him, and that's all you could say."

The Bears stranded runners at second and third in the second and fourth innings but finally received a clutch hit in the fifth. With one out, Mike O'Neil singled to left field and took third on a hit-and-run single by Alex Roldan, the only senior in Poly's starting lineup. Rabago then lined a single to left to tie the score, 1-1.

Matt Dufour replaced starter Kyle Mertins and walked LaCurtis Mayes to load the bases.

Scott Marisnick then dropped a swinging bunt down the left-field line and Dufour tried to make a diving throw home for the forceout, but instead threw it past Hall and two runs scored, giving Poly a 3-1 lead.

"I have a feeling we're going to match up with them in the future," Coach Aaron Moore said of El Dorado. "They're a good, quality, young team, like we are."

Mater Dei (23-8), which last played in a section final in 1980, will face its third Ivy League opponent in five playoff games. Poly split a doubleheader at Mater Dei on April 7.

Mike Torres tripled in a run and scored on Keith Castillo's sacrifice fly in the first inning.

Andrew Navarrette had an opposite-field triple to drive in a run and scored on an error in the second inning.

Canyon Springs (21-9), a semifinalist for the second consecutive season, put runners on base in every inning against starter Scott DeNault (6-1), but finished one for seven with runners in scoring position.

Kurt Yacko pitched the seventh for the Monarchs.

-- Dan Arritt

El Segundo 7, Hacienda Heights Los Altos 2 -- Taylor Adlam displayed pinpoint control in pitching a complete game, giving up nine hits and an intentional walk, and striking out five, and El Segundo scored four times in the seventh inning as it advanced to its 12th championship game.

The fourth-seeded Eagles (25-9) will play second-seeded West Covina Charter Oak in the Division IV final at 10 a.m. Saturday at Angel Stadium.

It is El Segundo's first championship game appearance since a 9-8 loss to Corona del Mar in 1999.

Center fielder Patrick Shrum, one of only two seniors in El Segundo's starting lineup, broke open a tight game when he bounced a one-out, bases-loaded single over a drawn-in infield in the seventh.

The Eagles led, 6-1, when two runs scored on the hit and another came across when the ball got past left fielder Matt Chambers.

That was plenty for Adlam (9-1), a junior right-hander, who has walked only 10 batters in 72 innings this season. The Eagles played error-free ball.

Adlam, who retired 10 consecutive batters after getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning, threw first-pitch strikes to 21 of the 30 batters he faced. He also had a single and a double.

Rob Estrada had two hits, including a run-scoring double, and Shrum and Tyson Hawley each drove in two runs. The Eagles drew six walks.

Edward Lulet and Jerry Pena, the first two batters for Los Altos (17-12), each had two hits, but the 3-4-5 batters combined for two hits in nine at-bats.

-- Peter Yoon

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