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High Schools | SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Uhl's Doubles Help Fuel Another Title for Serrano

June 04, 2005|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

Guiding a school to Southern Section titles in two sports while suffering just one defeat isn't a bad way to spend your senior year.

Carl Uhl helped Phelan Serrano complete the feat Friday night by winning the Division V baseball final against top-seeded Santa Fe Springs St. Paul, 5-3, at UC Riverside. He doubled in his first two at-bats to help the third-seeded Diamondbacks build an early lead and take the program's first baseball championship since winning the small schools title in 1983.

"Any sport, just to make it there is unbelievable," said Uhl, a quarterback for the 14-0 football team that won the Division VIII title. "One is not harder than the other, they are both awesome accomplishments."

Serrano (21-1-1) scored two runs in the first and another in the second to take a 3-0 lead, but St. Paul senior right fielder Dwight Tardy, who signed to play running back for Washington State, slammed a solo home run over the 380-foot fence in left-center in the bottom of the second to spark the Swordsmen.

The Swordsmen (26-7-1) added another run in the fourth when Justin Pooler led off with a single and later scored on a passed ball, but Serrano pushed the lead back to two runs in the fifth when Lane doubled and scored on a ground out.

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The battle for supremacy between the Inland Empire and Orange County continues today at Angel Stadium.

Among the teams competing in Divisions I, II and III, those from Orange County have won 11 of 18 playoff games against their Inland Empire counterparts.

Three more such games will be played today, concluding with the Division I title matchup between top-seeded Riverside Poly (26-3) and Santa Ana Mater Dei (23-8) at 7:30 p.m.

In the Division II final, Cypress (24-7) meets Yucaipa (23-9) at 4:30 p.m., and in the Division III final, fourth-seeded Temecula Valley (25-5) plays second-seeded Huntington Beach Ocean View (24-5) at 1 p.m.

El Segundo (25-9) meets second-seeded Covina Charter Oak (24-1-1) for the Division IV title at 10 a.m.

For Poly to win its first section title, the Bears will need to defeat their third Orange County opponent, having already dispatched Placentia El Dorado in the semifinals and Villa Park in the second round.

Mater Dei can win the program's first championship in 25 years if it beats its third Ivy League opponent in five postseason games. The teams split a nonleague doubleheader earlier this season.

Temecula Valley will also be playing for its first section title. Coach Jon Paino, 31, who graduated from Temecula Valley.

"Over the past few years, the Inland Empire has tried to elevate the level of play to compete with Orange County," he said. "Things are starting to even out."

Coach Aaron Kavanaugh, in his second season at Ocean View, has dealt with Inland Empire teams firsthand during the postseason, beating Ontario Colony and Murrieta Valley.

"They're big and physical," he said of the land-locked opponents. "They kind of remind you of a South Orange County team."

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