After winning eight games in 10 days and capturing tournament championships in North Carolina and Orange County, it can be concluded that the streaking Santa Ana Mater Dei High baseball team is the No. 1 team in Southern California, if not the nation.
The Monarchs (14-1) won their latest championship on Friday night, winning the Boras Classic Southern California championship with a 6-0 victory over Westlake Village Oaks Christian at JSerra High.
It earns the Monarchs a trip next Saturday to the University of Pacific to play Northern California champion Pleasant Grove in a noon championship game.
The Monarchs have had a spring break to remember. It started last week by defeating Studio City Harvard-Westlake, 4-0, in the championship game of the National High School Invitational in Cary, N.C.
The same pitcher who threw that shutout, senior left-hander Jacob Erickson, did it again against Oaks Christian (12-3-1). Erickson is usually Mater Dei's closer, but he has twice been called upon to start championship games and has delivered. He struck out 12, walked none and allowed six hits Friday.
"It's unbelievable to get two starts in two big tournaments," Erickson said. "The key has been throwing strikes and keeping batters off balance."
Mater Dei's pitching staff of Erickson, Davis Tominaga, Aaron Cross and Charlie Vorsheck has been so good these last two weeks that Coach Burt Call might want to consider a rare four-man starting rotation.
"Our pitching staff has done a great job," Call said. "We have a lot of depth and it's a luxury we can use in league and the playoffs."
Trinity League play resumes on Tuesday for Mater Dei, with the Monarchs playing a two-game series against Anaheim Servite. And school starts again on Monday. But the players have been having so much fun.
"It's waking up and playing baseball every day without any school," third baseman Ryan McMahon said.
Mater Dei scored five runs in the first inning with two out, keyed by a three-run double by freshman Josh Stephen.
McMahon, the tournament most valuable player, lined a single in the first inning, his eighth consecutive hit of the tournament.
Oaks Christian didn't win the championship, but the Lions, ranked No. 1 in Southern Section Division 4, certainly earned respect with three victories. Catcher Jack Kruger, who had two home runs in the tournament, was recognized as the Lions' top player.
"We've always known we've had this potential," Coach Tim Penprase said. "They wanted to make an impression. They had something to prove."