Southern Section championships
at The Diamond at Lake Elsinore
Division 4: Torrance (24-9) vs. Palm Desert (25-5), 10 a.m. — This should be one of the most competitive games of the day. Torrance knocked off top-seeded La Puente Bishop Amat, and that offers evidence about how good the Tartars must be. Shortstop Angelo Gumbs is a pro prospect, and second baseman Trent Gilbert has a school-record 58 hits. Palm Desert played a tough nonleague schedule and hasn't been challenged much in the playoffs. Mychal Kabeary is batting .494 with 30 RBIs.
Division 3: La Verne Bonita (24-4-1) vs. Huntington Beach Ocean View (21-9), 1 p.m. — It has been 59 years since Bonita played for a baseball championship. Junior outfielder Matt Gelalich is batting .514. Senior Brian Tuttle and junior Adam McCreery have been solid pitchers. Ocean View has received a boost in the playoffs from pitcher Freddy Sepulveda, who had a shoulder injury and didn't return until May. He has been coming in off the bench and winning or saving games.
Division 2: Glendora (26-2-1) vs. Yucaipa (27-6), 4:30 p.m. — This game has all the makings of a pitching duel, with UCLA-bound Adam Plutko of Glendora taking on 6-foot-5 Taijuan Walker of Yucaipa. Plutko is 9-1 with a 1.28 ERA. Walker is 10-3 with a 1.52 ERA. Both will be drafted next week. The key to this game will be defense. Playing in a minor league ballpark, if players can avoid strikeouts and put the ball in play, the team that makes the routine plays should prevail. Top-seeded Glendora has been better defensively.
Division 1: Dana Point Dana Hills (20-12) vs. Santa Ana Mater Dei (20-11), 7:30 p.m. — Dana Hills faces the formidable task of having to beat left-hander Cory Hahn (13-1), who has five innings left to pitch and is expected to start. But the Dolphins have been in this position before. Few gave them much of a chance against Huntington Beach Edison and left-hander Henry Owens in the first round, and Dana Hills prevailed, 2-1. It's going to take a strong pitching performance from No. 2 pitcher Eric Hsieh, because Mater Dei's hitters have been on fire during the playoffs.