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Mater Dei's Chris Santoro sharp in 10-1 victory over Servite

Monarchs do it again, as Santoro has emerged as a solid No. 2 pitcher after having a broken arm last season.

March 29, 2011|By Eric Sondheimer

Like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, Santa Ana Mater Dei Coach Burt Call keeps coming up with seemingly unknown pitchers to lead the Monarchs to prominence.

Last season it was Cory Hahn, a senior outfielder who hadn't pitched in high school. He led Mater Dei to the Southern Section Division 1 championship. And this season, Call has turned to senior Chris Santoro, who pitched just one inning a year ago because of a broken arm. Santoro has emerged as a quality No. 2 pitcher, improving his record to 3-1 on Tuesday after striking out six and giving up two hits in five innings of the Monarchs' 10-1 Trinity League victory over Anaheim Servite.

Surprisingly, Mater Dei (9-2, 4-0) has already taken command of the Trinity League race. The combination of Santoro and ace Ty Moore, plus some excellent hitting, has keyed Mater Dei's quick start.

"We're pleased," Call said. "We're hitting the ball well and have had situational hitting."

Moore, a junior who has committed to UCLA, has 18 hits in 37 at-bats. Ryan Teel, headed to Nevada, has 15 runs batted in. USC commit Jeremy Martinez is a steady cleanup hitter.

This is certainly a different team than a year ago, when Hahn was the main figure pitching and hitting.

"Cory was a big player for our team," Call said. "We relied on him quite a bit. This year, we've had a lot of players step up."

Santoro is throwing strikes and following the instructions of the coaching staff.

"We stress accuracy," Santoro said. "You can throw as hard as you want, but if you're not hitting your spots, you're going to get hit or walk batters."

Mater Dei's victory came against Servite junior ace Cole Irvin, who has committed to Oregon commit and owns a shutout win over JSerra. His defense let him down with three errors. He also walked four before leaving after three innings trailing, 5-1.

Mater Dei continues Trinity League play on Thursday against Santa Margarita.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

twitter.com/LATSondheimer

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