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Lakewood stuns No. 1 Huntington Beach Edison in Southern Section Division 1 baseball playoffs

The Lancers win, 3-1, to advance to a semifinal against Riverside North. Edison ace Henry Owens gives up four hits. No. 2-seeded Santa Ana Mater Dei is eliminated by Anaheim Esperanza, 5-1.

May 27, 2011|Eric Sondheimer

Two weeks into the Southern Section Division 1 baseball playoffs, none of the top four seeded teams has survived, and the biggest surprise came Friday before hundreds of fans who squeezed into and around the Lakewood High diamond to watch the host Lancers stun No. 1-seeded Huntington Beach Edison and ace pitcher Henry Owens, 3-1, in a quarterfinal game.

Getting a hit off the 6-foot-7 Owens in the playoffs has been difficult, let alone trying to inflict a defeat. He came in with a 12-0 record and stretched his streak of not allowing a hit during the playoffs to 11 innings when Lakewood's Jimmy Gosano lined a single to start the third inning. After a sacrifice, J.P. Yakel delivered a run-scoring double and Jonathan Pasillas followed with another RBI double.

That's all the runs junior Shane Watson (10-2) needed. He gave up four hits, struck out three and walked three to send Lakewood (29-4-1) into Tuesday's semifinal against Riverside North, which defeated Dana Hills, 6-2. Owens finished with 11 strikeouts and gave up four hits.

Lakewood, the Moore League champion, played flawless defense, particularly sophomore shortstop J.P. Crawford, and executed when it needed.

Another big upset Friday came when No. 2-seeded Santa Ana Mater Dei was eliminated by Anaheim Esperanza, 5-1. Austin Pettibone struck out six and walked none to cool off what was considered the best hitting attack in Division 1. Esperanza will face Long Beach Wilson in the other semifinal. Wilson defeated Simi Valley, 2-0, behind junior pitcher Chase DeJong, who threw a four-hitter.

Lakewood's hitters prepared for Owens' 93 mph fastball by having the coaches throw batting practice at close range.

"You see the ball better, and it really helped," Gosano said.

Owens, expected to be a first-round draft choice next month, finished the season with 140 strikeouts in 912/3 innings while giving up just 45 hits.

"We're excited," Gosano said. "We still have two more games. We're not done."

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