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Mattson leads Orange Lutheran to win over Mater Dei
ORANGE – Orange Lutheran left fielder Nathan Flores threw his hands up as a harmless fly ball he had lost in the dusk sky fell for a Mater Dei double in the fourth inning of a one-run game Friday night.
An unfazed Luke Mattson stepped back on the mound, took a deep breath and proceeded to steal back any momentum brewing in Mater Dei’s dugout. He struck out the next two batters to close the fourth and finished with eight strikeouts over 62/3 innings to lead No. 3 Orange Lutheran to a 2-1 win in the Trinity League.
“That (double) happened and I was like, ‘I’m not going to let that beat me no matter what,’” Mattson said.
This game was a welcomed change for Mattson (4-1, 1.03 ERA), who walked the two batters he faced during Orange Lutheran’s 7-6 loss to the Monarchs (13-12, 6-6) on Wednesday.
He walked just one Friday and threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of his 27 batters.
“We needed him to step up, not only in (the fourth), for the whole game, and he just did that,” Lancers coach Eric Borba said. “He easily could have folded after a fly ball (like that), you feel like things are going against you, and he really stepped it up to another level.”
Orange Lutheran (18-7, 7-5) scored two runs in the first with RBI from Zach Busalacchi and Aaron Kim. The Lancers mustered one hit for the rest of the game against Jonathan Schiffer (4-1, 2.29 ERA), who finished six innings with three strikeouts.
“We just came up a little short for (Schiffer),” Mater Dei coach Burt Call said. “But (he was) very composed on the mound, regrouped after the first inning and pitched a great game.”
The Lancers are tied for second in the Trinity League with Santa Margarita. Those two start a three-game series Monday.
Mater Dei is fourth in league and starts a three-game series Monday against St. John Bosco.