Orange County: Pitching dominates, several teams still alive

Orange County's 1-2 punch of Edison and Mater Dei may have fallen to the wayside on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Southern Section baseball playoffs, but it was a good day for some other Orange County teams.

Esperanza is still playing after taking down Mater Dei.

Also still alive are Mission Viejo, Beckman, Woodbridge and Oxford Academy.

In marquee Division 1, Dana Hills, which was beaten in the section finals last season by Mater Dei, only managed three hits in losing to Riverside North, 6-2.

And second-seeded Mater Dei was, of course, beaten by Esperanza, 5-1.

Esperanza, a longshot in Division 1, will continue its surprising run to the semifinals when it plays Long Beach Wilson Tuesday at Blair Field. Wilson plays some of its home games on Blair Field. Esperanza won behind the hitting of Nick Catalano, Kevin Viers and Ryan Cooper, and the pitching of Austin Pettibone.

Despite having previously unbeatable left-hander Henry Owens on the hill, top-seeded Edison was beaten, 3-1, by Lakewood. Owens (12-1) had pitched a no-hitter in the first round, and two innings of hitless relief in the second. He gave up four hits, walked three, and struck out 11.

Earlier in the week, Lakewood coach Spud O'Neil talked about just how good Edison is: "They're No. 1, and when they have Owens pitching, they're better."

Not anymore.

Here's a look at Orange County's day in the quarterfinals:


Mission Viejo breezed with a 12-2 victory over Damien as Willie Kuhl pitched a two-hitter. The Diablos play fourth-seeded Santa Barbara.

Back-to-back doubles in the top of the seventh inning were the undoing for host Garden Grove Pacifica, which was beaten by second-seeded Arcadia, 2-1. The Mariners (24-8) failed to score in the bottom of the seventh after Kyle Davis doubled and pinch-runner Ricky Brito took third on a wild pitch with no outs. Davis, who pitched a four-hitter, was the hard-luck loser. Arcadia will play Etiwanda.


Left-hander Ben Wylley pitched a three-hitter and struck out seven, and Woodbridge (18-11) -- which upset No. 2 seed Quartz Hill in the second round -- bombed Rialto with 17 hits. Brennan Leitao tripled and homered, his first of the season, and drove in three runs for the Warriors, who have won seven in a row and will play at Culver City in the semifinals. Culver City scored a 4-1 victory over University, an at-large team that had beaten third-seeded Alhambra in the first round.

Beckman's James Kaprielian pitched his second shutout of the playoffs, a four-hitter to beat Paloma Valley, 1-0. In the first round, Kaprielian (10-1) pitched a one-hitter to beat Downey, 2-0. Fourth-seeded Beckman will play host to top-seeded Bonita (27-4) on Tuesday.


Fourth-seeded Laguna Beach (27-3), which set a school record for victories, was ousted by Oaks Christian, 6-3. The Breakers, who had won 13 in a row since losing back-to-back games, grounded into five double plays. Trailing 6-1, they had a chance to come back in the sixth; they loaded the bases, but scored only two runs.

Sonora, which had outscored its first two opponents, 18-3, was beaten by top-seeded Palm Desert, 6-4, on a 10th-inning two-out home run by Brooks Kriske. Kriske pitched the the first eight innings for the defending champion, and Sonora took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 10th. Brandon Quintero (8-2), who came on in the bottom of the 10th to pitch for Sonora, took the loss.


Top-seeded Oxford Academy, in search of its third consecutive title, won at Brentwood, 9-4. Importantly, it will play host to Bishop Union on Tuesday instead of having to travel.

Second-seeded Pasadena Poly eliminated Capistrano Valley Christian, 11-7.