Previews of the games Friday for the Orange County teams in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section baseball playoffs.
CIF-SS BASEBALL PLAYOFFS
SIERRA CANYON (19-10-2) VS. JSERRA (21-9)
Where, when: JSerra High School, 3:15 p.m.
Outlook: Sierra Canyon finished fourth in the eight-team Mission League, a good league that includes Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks and Harvard-Westlake. In the playoffs the Trailblazers beat Bishop Amat 2-1 in the first round and Cypress 2-1 in the first round. Ethan Montes, Jonny Hagopian and Brady Hewitt shared the pitching duties against Cypress. … JSerra won the CIF-SS Division 1 championship last season. The Lions finished in a tie with Orange Lutheran for third place in the Trinity League. In the playoffs they beat Yucaipa 7-0 in the first round and Etiwanda 6-1 in the second round. The game against Yucaipa, scheduled for Thursday, was delayed until Monday because of rain and unplayable grounds. The win over Etiwanda was on Tuesday. … JSerra has pitching depth that includes Matt Champion, who is 5-2 with a 2.08 ERA, and Ben Reimers, who is 6-5 including getting the win over Etiwanda and has a 1.65 ERA. Shortstop/third baseman Trent Caraway, who signed with Oregon State, is batting .442 with 42 hits. Cal-signed senior first baseman Dominic Smaldino has 19 RBIs. Shortstop/third baseman Jonathan Mendez, a UC Santa Barbara signee, has a team-high 23 RBIs. The winner advances to Tuesday’s semifinals to play the Notre Dame-Corona winner.
VILLA PARK (21-10) VS. ORANGE LUTHERAN (21-10-1)
Where, when: Hart Park, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Crestview League champion Villa Park beat Damien 3-0 in the first round behind the pitching of left-hander Brandon Luu. The Spartans got a great pitching effort, too, from Zach Brown in their 2-1 win over Huntington Beach in the second round. They scored the two runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning in which Nathaniel Pone drove in the winning run. Brown, who signed with Ohio State, is Villa Park’s RBIs leader with 21. Texas A&M-signed shortstop Gavin Grahovac is batting .350 with five home runs and 19 RBIs. Grahovac, projected as an early-round MLB draft choice, has an oblique strain that forced him to exit Tuesday’s win over Huntington Beach. … Orange Lutheran tied with JSerra for third place in the Trinity League. The Lancers beat Arlington of Riverside 8-3 in the first round and Harvard-Westlake 1-0 in the second round as Nic Peterson, Colt Peterson and Evan Miranda combined on a three-hitter and Casey Borba drove in the run. Josiah Hartshorn leads the Lancers in hits with 30 and RBIs with 23. The winner plays Tuesday in the semifinals against the winner of the La Mirada-Santa Margarita quarterfinal.
LA MIRADA (23-7) VS. SANTA MARGARITA (25-6)
Where, when: Santa Margarita High School, 3:15 p.m.
Outlook: La Mirada went 11-1 in the Gateway League to win the league championship. In the playoffs the Matadores beat Ayala 4-3 in the first round and Torrance 3-2 in the second round. They went 3-1 in the prestigious Boras Classic South tournament with wins over Division 1 quarterfinalist Corona and Division 2 quarterfinalist Santiago of Corona. Brandon Kim leads the Matadores with 19 RBIs. La Mirada has a 1.37 team ERA. … Santa Margarita won the Trinity League championship with a 14-1 league record. In the playoffs the second-seeded Eagles defeated Foothill 6-2 in the first round and Long Beach Millikan 4-0 in the second round. They got excellent pitching efforts in both wins, from Collin Clarke in the win over Foothill and from Sammy Cova in the win over Millikan. The winner plays in the semifinals Tuesday against the Villa Park-Orange Lutheran winner.
Santa Margarita’s Logan de Groot slides into home plate to score one of the Eagles 6 points during a 6-2 win over Foothill in the CIF-SS Division 1 first round matchup between the two teams on Thursday, May 4, 2023. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)
OCEAN VIEW (20-10) VS. AQUINAS (25-4)
Where, when: Aquinas High School. Friday, 3:15 p.m.
Outlook: Ocean View won the Golden West League championship with a 9-1 league record. The Seahawks in the playoffs beat Crescenta Valley 10-0 in the first round and Quartz Hill 10-1 in the second round. Cole Kenrich and Evyn Lewis drove in three runs each in the win over Quartz Hill. … Top-seeded Aquinas won the Ambassador League title with an 11-0 league record. The Falcons are No. 6 in the CalHiSports.com California rankings. Two of their four losses were to Division 1 semifinalist Orange Lutheran. Aquinas beat Division 1 semifinalist Santa Margarita in the Boras Classic South tournament.
ALISO NIGUEL (17-13) VS. LA SERNA (26-2)
Where, when: La Serna High School, 3:15 p.m.
Outlook: Aliso Niguel is one of the hotter teams in CIF-SS baseball. The Wolverines were 0-5 and 2-9 before finishing strong including going 8-4 in the Sea View League to win the league championship. In the playoffs they beat Dana Hills 6-4 in the first round and Redondo Union 4-0 in the second round. Connor Etnire pitched a two-hitter for Aliso Niguel in the win over Redondo. Sophomore catcher Jarett Sabol, who committed to USC, homered and drove in two runs and Chase Muirbrook added two RBIs against Redondo. Aliso right-handed pitcher Damon Anderson-Wolf was 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA in league. … Top-seeded La Serna won the Del Rio League championship. The Lancers take a 21-game winning streak into the quarterfinals. In the playoffs they beat Long Beach Wilson 6-0 in the first round and Buena of Ventura 10-7 in the second round.
LONG BEACH POLY (24-3) VS. YORBA LINDA (16-12-1)
Where, when: Yorba Linda High School, 3:15 p.m.
Outlook: Fourth-seeded Long Beach Poly won the Moore League championship with a 13-0 league record. The Jackrabbits’ Jae Simon has 29 RBIs. Lucas Scott has 25 hits and is hitting .352. Long Beach Poly takes an 11-game winning streak into this game. In the playoffs the Jackrabbits beat Beckman 7-6 in the first round and Flintridge Prep 1-0 in the second round. … Yorba Linda won the North Hills League championship with a 6-3 league record. In the playoffs the Mustangs beat Centennial of Corona 6-2 in the first round and Edison 4-2 in the second round. JJ Conrad pitched a complete game and Jayden Flaig homered in the win over Edison. The winner plays the Aliso Niguel-La Serna winner in the semifinals Tuesday.
Yorba Linda’s JJ Conrad pitched six innings, struck out nine and gave up three runs in a victory over Brea Olinda 7-3 that clinched the North Hills League title. (Photo by Manny Alvarez)
CREAN LUTHERAN (21-8) VS. BURBANK (15-9)
Where, when: Crean Lutheran High School, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Top-seeded Crean Lutheran finished third in the Empire League. In the playoffs the Saints beat Pasadena Poly 24-3 in the first round and Los Altos 6-2 in the second round. Wyatt Nichol pitched a complete game with eight strikeouts and Jack O’Malley hit his eighth home run in the win over Los Altos. Crean has regular-season wins over CIF-SS semifinalists Santiago of Corona and Brea Olinda. … Burbank finished fifth in the Pacific League. The Bulldogs in the playoffs defeated Elsinore 2-0 in the first round and El Rancho 4-3 in the second round. The winner plays the winner of Chaparral-Sultana in the semifinals Tuesday.
CANYON (18-13) VS. BARSTOW (16-6)
Where, when: Barstow High School, 2 p.m.
Outlook: Canyon finished third in the four-team North Hills League. In the playoffs the Comanches beat Oak Hills 11-2 in the first round and Northwood 3-0 in the second round. Jackson Chastain and John Sova combined to pitch the shutout over Northwood. … Barstow finished second in the Desert Sky League. In the playoffs the Aztecs beat Glendora 2-1 in the first round and Valley View of Moreno Valley 6-4 in the second round. The winner plays the Brea Olinda-Linfield Christian winner in the semifinals Tuesday.
BREA OLINDA (16-12-2) VS. LINFIELD CHRISTIAN (23-7)
Where, when: Linfield Christian High, 3:15 p.m.
Outlook: Brea Olinda finished second to Yorba Linda in the four-team North Hills League. The Wildcats in the playoffs beat Ramona 5-3 in the first round and Santa Barbara 1-0 in the second round. Owen Brown pitched a three-hitter in the win over Santa Barbara. … Second-seeded Linfield Christian finished second to Aquinas in the Ambassador League. In the playoffs the Lions beat Hemet 2-0 in the first round and Don Lugo 9-4 in the second round. Linfield Christian’s Elijah Butler is batting .443 with 30 RBIs. The winner plays the Canyon-Barstow winner in the semifinals Tuesday.
CALVARY CHAPEL (18-13) VS. APPLE VALLEY (20-7-1)
Where, when: Apple Valley High, 3:15 p.m.
Outlook: Calvary Chapel finished third in the Orange Coast League. In the playoffs the Eagles beat Century 3-1 in the first round and Windward 4-3 in the second round. Waylon Pipia and Matt Madrid have been among the offensive leaders for Calvary Chapel. … Fourth-seeded Apple Valley beat Victor Valley 8-2 in the first round and Pasadena 9-4 in the second round. Apple Valley finished second in the Mojave River League. The winner plays the Montebello-Bishop Montgomery winner in the semifinals Tuesday.
CIF-SS baseball playoffs: Updated schedule for Friday’s games
CIF-SS baseball playoffs: Tuesday’s scores, updated pairings and schedule
Yorba Linda baseball tops Edison to reach Division 3 quarterfinals
Baseball playoffs roundup: JSerra wins again; Orange Lutheran shuts out Harvard-Westlake
Villa Park baseball pulls out victory over Huntington Beach in seventh inning