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Mater Dei's Ty Moore is on a productive swing

The junior has become a fearsome hitter and is 10-1 as a pitcher for the Monarchs, who play Anaheim Esperanza on Friday in a Southern Section quarterfinal game.

May 27, 2011|Eric Sondheimer

With a school-record 50 hits and a .521 batting average, Ty Moore of Santa Ana Mater Dei should be able to tell everyone he's named after one of the greatest hitters of all time, Ty Cobb.

Except that his mother, Tammy, said she just happened to name her second child Ty because she liked the name.

Regardless, the name fits perfectly, because Moore has become one of the most feared hitters in Southern California for a team that lately has no easy outs in its lineup.

"This is one of the best offensive teams I've played on in my entire career of baseball," said Moore, a junior outfielder who has committed to UCLA. "We're just putting the fat part of the barrel on the ball right now, and it's going our way."

Mater Dei, the defending Southern Section Division 1 champion, has scored 11 and 12 runs in its first two playoff victories entering a Friday quarterfinal game against host Anaheim Esperanza.

Dealing with Moore has been a season-long dilemma for pitchers and coaches.

"He's just one of the best hitters I've ever coached," Mater Dei Coach Burt Call said. "He's aggressive in his approach at the plate. He's always confident. He's always going to compete, battle and never give in to the pitcher, and that's what makes him a great hitter."

Last season, Moore combined with Cory Hahn on the mound to pitch a perfect game in the Division 1 final. He is 10-1 on the mound this season, but his hitting is so good it overshadows his importance to the Monarchs as a pitcher.

"Last year, it was a group of superstars," Moore said. "We had Cory Hahn, Derek Campbell. This year, there's no monsters who hit 500-foot home runs. Everyone plays as a team."

Moore should be happy his father didn't have his way, or his first name would be Clifford.

Mom always knows best.

Different approach

It was a surreal scene in warmups for a City Section Division I quarterfinal playoff game at Granada Hills Kennedy on Thursday. The host Golden Cougars spent more than 15 minutes taking a phantom infield practice.

Assistant coach Marcus Alvarado would swing the bat as if he were hitting a ball. Kennedy players would go through their drills as if they were fielding and throwing a ball. There were even sound effects of a ball coming off a bat every time Alvarado would hit the imaginary ball.

San Fernando players sat in the dugout amused.

"They were trying to get into our head," San Fernando Coach Armando Gomez said.

Kennedy Coach Manny Alvarado said the idea was to get his team to have some fun and loosen up using an imaginary ball. But the Golden Cougars' defense collapsed when it used a real ball, committing four errors in the final two innings of a 5-3 loss to the Tigers. Kevin Martinez delivered the key blow for San Fernando, hitting a two-run double during a three-run sixth.

San Fernando will play defending City champion Woodland Hills El Camino Real in Wednesday's 6 p.m. semifinal game at USC. El Camino Real rallied for a 6-5 win over Harbor City Narbonne. Chris Nicholson finished with three hits, including a home run and a three-run double.

The other semifinal, at 3 p.m. at USC, will match top-seeded Chatsworth against No. 12 Lake Balboa Birmingham. Aaron Brown had three runs batted in and struck out eight in Chatsworth's 5-2 quarterfinal win over Woodland Hills Taft. Birmingham got a two-run home run from Kevin Torres to defeat Granada Hills, 3-2.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

twitter.com/latsondheimer

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