When the 2022 high school baseball season began, defending Southern Section Division 1 champion Harvard-Westlake was forced to come up with plans to stay relevant even though its top two pitchers would be unavailable. Not only are the Wolverines through to the Division 1 quarterfinals, the pitching replacements are getting better.
Avery Thau threw a three-hit shutout on Tuesday in Harvard-Westlake’s 9-0 victory over La Mirada, setting up a quarterfinal showdown with No. 2-seeded JSerra on Friday at O’Malley Field. The teams have annual battles, the head coaches are best friends and the players enjoy the competition.
“It’s always a good fight with them,” catcher Jacob Galloway said.
It’s really going to be Trinity League vs. Mission League on Friday, because another quarterfinal has top-seeded Orange Lutheran playing at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.
Helping the Wolverines on Tuesday was wildness from La Mirada freshman pitcher Paul Dominguez in the first inning. Three walks and two hit batters led to a four-run inning, keyed by a two-run single from Owen Carlson. The Wolverines kept delivering clutch hits with men in scoring position. Galloway had a two-run double and RBI single. Kai Caranto had a two-run single.
Thau, a senior left-hander, has combined with 8-0 Tommy Bridges to help the Wolverines overcome the absence of Bryce Rainer, the ace who isn’t pitching this season. He’s doing pretty well as a hitter, though, with a batting average close to .400. Thau has allowed one run in his last three starts.
“We lost some guys for sure,” Galloway said. “We’ve had a lot of guys step up.”
JSerra 4, Capistrano Valley 2: Jonathan Mendez had three hits and three RBIs for JSerra.
Orange Lutheran 10, Bonita 5: The top-seeded Lancers were given a scare, rallying from a 5-3 deficit. Karson Bowen had a home run, scored three times and drove in two runs. Evan Miranda threw four innings of shutout relief.
Villa Park 9, San Dimas 8: A sacrifice fly from AJ Krodel in the top of the seventh inning broke an 8-8 tie and helped Villa Park advance. Jack Burke had a double and triple.
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 6, El Dorado 2: A three-run home run in the seventh inning from Christian Miranda broke open a close game for Notre Dame. Oliver Boone pitched 5 1/3 innings for the Knights.
Huntington Beach 13, Bishop Amat 0: Trent Grindlinger had three hits and three RBIs while Ben Jacobs threw five shutout innings for the Oilers.
Foothill 5, Santa Margarita 4: Andrew Parker’s walk-off single enabled Foothill to advance to the quarterfinals. Austin Overn hit a home run.
Cypress 5, Servite 2: Luke Matlock got the pitching victory and Bren Wilkinson had a two-run double for Cypress.
Torrance 7, Arlington 0: The Tartars stunned the No. 1 seed in Division 2. Brock Mayer struck out seven and gave up one hit in six innings. Mason Martinez and Ricky Ahumada each had three hits.
Garden Grove Pacifica 5, Sierra Canyon 2: Johnny Morales threw a complete game to eliminate the Trailblazers.
Loyola 5, Long Beach Wilson 4: The Cubs rallied in the seventh inning of a Division 4 game, getting a walk-off single from Carson Chavez.
Lakewood 3, Norco 2: The Cougars were upset in a road loss.
Long Beach Millikan 3, Hart 0: Myles Patton allowed two hits while striking out eight for the Rams. Ryan Geck contributed a home run.
Orange Lutheran 2, Villa Park 1: The Lancers took down top-seeded Villa Park in a 10-inning Division 1 thriller. After Villa Park took a 1-0 lead in the ninth, Kiki Estrada tied the score with a home run in the bottom of the ninth. Then Kai Minor won it with a triple while scoring on an error. Sydney Somerndike ended her remarkable career striking out eight in 9 1/3 innings. Brianne Weiss struck out 12 in 10 innings to earn her 18th win of the season.
Oaks Christian 13, Chino Hills 3: The Lions improved to 30-0. Anahi Arreola hit a grand slam for Oaks Christian.