Pasadena Poly wins first section title in baseball

RIVERSIDE — From start to finish, there was never any doubt which was the better baseball team Saturday afternoon in the Southern Section Division 6 final.

Pasadena Poly controlled all aspects of the game and ran away with a 10-0 victory against top-seeded Cypress Oxford Academy at UC Riverside, earning the program’s first section title in its third trip to the championship game.

Stanford-bound right-handed Jordan Kutzer threw five shutout innings and helped himself with a first-inning RBI double.

"I think we came out with a mission,” Kutzer said. “It was good, right off the bat, to get that first run because that seems like the hardest one sometimes.”

The second-seeded Panthers (25-2-1) gave Kuzter more breathing room with three runs in the third. Kutzer led off with a double over the head of left-fielder Juan Viana, then came home on a one-out double by Hunter Merryman. Jonah Campbell followed with an RBI single up the middle, then scored on a two-out single by Davey Feess.

“I think one of the strengths of this team is we don’t only rely on the top of our lineup,” Merryman said. “That’s what our team has been about all year. It’s not just two or three guys. It’s our whole team that got us there.”

Pasadena Poly put the game out of reach with a six-run sixth, highlighted by a two-run triple to deep center field by Campbell.

“They were definitely the better team today,” said Oxford Academy coach Cory Williams. “They’re just a really big, physical club.”

Pasadena Poly also helped itself with some timely defense.

Right-fielder Caleb Lee made a diving back-handed catch to end the second inning. Kutzer got out of his only jam in the fourth when third-baseman Jack Birkenbeuel started a double and then ended the inning by catching a foul pop fly that had bounced out of the glove of catcher Matthew Saeta.

Oxford Academy, the two-time defending Division 6 champion, finished 26-3.

In Division 7

Inglewood Animo Leadership 6, Santa Monica Pacifica Christian 4 — Animo Leadership was out-hit, 11-9, by the Seawolves but took advantage of four errors to score three unearned runs and topple Pacifica Christian at UC Riverside.

Andrew Negrete and Hector Del Real had two hits each for the Aztec Eagles.

Kevin Hammer, Nico Agnone and Timmy Vaughn had two hits each for the Seawolves, who stranded 11 runners.