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Previews: Saturday's baseball championship games

STAFF WRITER

Previews of the CIF-SS baseball championship games on Saturday.

CIF-SS CHAMPIONSHIPS

DIVISION 3

WOODBRIDGE (23-7) VS. REDONDO UNION OF REDONDO BEACH (30-2)

Where, when: San Manuel Stadium, Saturday, 1 p.m.

Fan info: General admission, $14; students with valid student I.D. and children 13 and younger, $5. Parking is $5.

Outlook: Woodbridge is in a CIF-SS baseball final for the second time. The Warriors lost to Beckman in the Division 3 final in 2011. Woodbridge, champion of the Pacific Coast League and seeded third, has defeated Lancaster, 9-0, in the first round, San Dimas, 6-2, in the second round, Bishop Amat of La Puente, 8-1, in the quarterfinals, and Palm Desert, 1-0, in the semifinals. Jake Larson, a senior right-hander who signed with Valparaiso, is the Warriors’ probable starting pitcher. He is 9-3 with a 0.88 ERA. Sophomore center fielder Jackson Lyon has a team-high 24 RBI. Senior shortstop Aharon Modlin, a Pepperdine signee who was selected to the Orange County All-Star Game, is batting .371 with 20 RBI. Top-seeded Redondo won its first and only CIF-SS baseball championship last season. In these playoffs, Redondo, the Bay League champion, defeated Wilson of Hacienda Heights, 9-1, in the first round, La Salle of Pasadena, 8-1, in the second round, Culver City, 9-2, in the quarterfinals, and Beckman, 5-2, in the semifinals. Woodbridge won two of its three league games against Beckman. Sean Reynolds, a 6-foot-6 right-hander, is the probable starting pitcher for Redondo. He is 10-0 with a 1.09 ERA and 90 strikeouts with 14 walks in 77 innings. Reynolds, who signed with Rice and has been projected to be selected during the first three rounds of next week’s MLB Draft, also is batting .364 with 34 RBI. Woodbridge is averaging seven runs a game. Larson has been sharp all season and particularly in the playoffs. Woodbridge’s defense might be its strength. The Warriors will need that defense to remain strong and Larson to be on his game again to beat Redondo.

DIVISION 4

KAISER OF FONTANA (27-3) VS. LAGUNA BEACH (20-12)

Where, when: San Manuel Stadium, Saturday, 10 a.m.

Fan info: General admission, $14; students with valid student I.D. and children 13 and younger, $5. Parking is $5.

Outlook: Laguna Beach is in a CIF-SS baseball championship game for the first time. The Breakers, champions of the Orange Coast League, in the playoffs have defeated Savanna, 4-2, in the first round, Patriot of Jurupa Valley, 4-0, in the second round, California of Whittier, 3-2, in the quarterfinals, and St. Bonaventure of Ventura, 5-4, in the semifinals. The quarterfinals and semifinals wins were in extra innings. Laguna Beach started the season 0-6. Senior catcher Will McInerny, who signed with UCLA, is batting .333 with a team-high 20 RBI. Senior first baseman Connor Basile is batting .366 with a team-high 37 hits. Junior right-hander Ashton Goddard, who committed to Utah, is Laguna Beach’s probable starting pitcher. He is 4-2 with a 1.80 ERA. Kaiser also is making its debut in a CIF-SS baseball final. The second-seeded Cats, champions of the Sunkist League, defeated Sonora, 6-5, in the first round, Ramona, 13-1, in the second round, Santa Fe of Santa Fe Springs, 3-2, in the quarterfinals, and Montebello, 11-1, in the semifinals. Armando Duenas, a junior left-hander, is Kaiser’s probable starting pitcher. He is 10-0 with a 1.44 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 78 innings. Junior shortstop Oscar Rocha is batting .415 with a team-leading 27 RBI. Senior outfielder Justin Wells is batting .416 with 26 RBI. With those extra-inning playoffs wins, Laguna Beach has proved it can handle playoff pressure, so the Breakers could be in the right state of mind for the championship game.

DIVISION 6

SAGE HILL (27-1) VS. CREAN LUTHERAN (23-7)

Where, when: UC Riverside, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Fan info: General admission, $10; students with valid student I.D. and children 13 and younger, $5. Parking is $5.

Outlook: Both of these Academy League teams are in their first CIF-SS baseball final. Sage Hill beat Crean Lutheran in their two league games, 2-0 and 5-4. Top-seeded Sage Hill won the league championship. In the playoffs, the Lightning defeated Silver Valley of Yermo, 3-0, in the first round, Temecula Prep, 12-0, in the second round, Santa Paula, 2-0, in the quarterfinals, and Flintridge Prep of La Canada, 4-1, in the semifinals. That is a cumulative playoff score of 21-1. Sage Hill, the home team for this game, has an Orange County record 26-game winning streak. Projected starting pitcher Brett Super, a junior right-hander, is 12-0 with a 0.54 ERA and a county-leading 130 strikeouts in 90 innings. Freshman right fielder Edward Pelc is batting .488. Super and senior first baseman Conner Bock, a Cal signee, lead the Lightning in RBI with 24 apiece. Crean Lutheran finished second to Sage Hill in league. Crean Lutheran junior first baseman/outfielder Will Choi has a team-high 35 RBI and is batting .358. Junior pitcher/outfielder Gavin Folsom is batting. 420 and junior shortstop PJ Buratti is batting .427 with a team-leading 38 hits. Saints projected starting pitcher Will Tomlinson, a senior right-hander, is 10-4 with a 2.01 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 67 innings. In the playoffs, the second-seeded Saints defeated Chadwick of Palos Verdes Peninsula, 14-0, in the first round, Palm Valley of Rancho Mirage, 20-0, in the second round, Desert Christian of Lancaster, 17-3, in the quarterfinals, and Buckley of Sherman Oaks, 9-4, in the semifinals. That’s a cumulative playoff score of 61-13. Super has been superb in the playoffs. This game could be as close as the two Sage-Crean league games.

STEVE FRYER

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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