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High Schools | SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL FINALS

Mater Dei Delivers for a Title

June 05, 2005|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

Keith Castillo made Santa Ana Mater Dei's first Southern Section finals appearance in 25 years a memorable one.

The junior catcher had four hits and drove in three runs against top-seeded Riverside Poly in a 9-3 victory in the Southern Section Division I championship game Saturday at Angel Stadium.

Castillo's two-run double in the first inning ignited a 15-hit attack and sent Poly (26-4) to its third loss in a championship game since 1998.

Castillo sat out nearly a month of the season, including a nonleague doubleheader against the Bears in early April, after injuring his hand making a tag at the plate. Since his return, Castillo has been a big part of Mater Dei's late-season resurgence. The Monarchs (24-8) were three games out of first place in the Serra League with only two weeks left in the regular season, but rallied to win the title.

Castillo also had three runs batted in in a 7-1 semifinal victory Tuesday against Moreno Valley Canyon Springs.

Senior right-hander Christian Gagne continued a string of strong performances for Mater Dei pitchers, who gave up only seven runs in five playoff games.

"We've known we've been the underdogs all season, so we tried to do it ourselves," Gagne said. "Keith coming back has just made us that much better."

Gagne (11-1) threw 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs and four hits before leaving after Sharif Othman's two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth cut the deficit to 9-3.

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Cypress 7, Yucaipa 1 -- Junior left-hander Adam Wilk threw his 11th complete game and came within one out of his sixth shutout as he led the top-seeded Centurions to their first title with the Division II victory at Angel Stadium.

Wilk (10-2) scattered eight hits, struck out 10 and walked one batter. Only one batter for Yucaipa (23-10) reached second base in the first six innings.

The Centurions (25-7) chased Yucaipa freshman left-hander Scott Snodgrass (3-1) before he could produce an out. Nick Tanos had two hits and two RBIs, Tanner Van Maanen drove in two runs and CJ Belanger scored twice for Cypress, which started only three seniors.

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Huntington Beach Ocean View 3, Temecula Valley 2 -- The second-seeded Seahawks won their first title since 1998 when they scored three unearned runs and benefited from a questionable baserunning decision by Temecula Valley to win the Division III title at Angel Stadium.

With the score tied, 2-2, and runners on first and second with one out in the sixth inning, winning pitcher Alex Burnett (11-3) had a pitch get past catcher Geoff Klein. Keith Faulkner of Temecula Valley (25-6) tried to score from second on the play but was tagged out by Burnett.

The Seahawks (25-5) pushed across the go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning. Marc Fernandez, who walked with one out, scored when the Golden Bears made two throwing errors after Derek Martin laid down a two-out bunt.

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El Segundo 3, Covina Charter Oak 0 -- Forty years after winning his first Southern Section championship, Coach John Stevenson brought home another when the unseeded Eagles (26-9) upset second-seeded Covina Charter Oak (24-5-1) in the Division IV final at Angel Stadium.

Stevenson, 71, has won seven titles in 12 championship-game appearances in 47 seasons. His teams had not won a playoff game since 1999, when the Eagles lost in the finals. Their last title came in 1989.

The Eagles gave starting pitcher Auggie Meick (9-2) all the support he needed in the fourth inning, taking a 1-0 lead on a two-out single by senior right-fielder Tyson Hawley. Designated hitter Tyler Moon, a sophomore, followed with a two-run single.

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