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Katella grabs share of first league title since 2008

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ANAHEIM - The Katella baseball team beat Anaheim, 4-1, Thursday night and earned a share of its first league title since 2008.

The Knights will share the Orange League championship with Century as both teams finished 12-3 in league.

The league championship was especially meaningful to Coach Marcelo Miranda, who graduated from Katella in 1995.

“I was very fortunate to play baseball here at Katella,” Miranda said. “These players have worked toward this for four years and really came together late in the season.”

The Knights (14-13 overall) opened the season with a seven-game losing streak. They will enter the CIF-SS playoffs, which start next week, with a five-game winning streak.

Alex Penaloza was outstanding on the mound for Katella. The senior pitched a complete game, allowed just one run on three hits and struck out eight.

“He’s been great for three years,” Miranda said. “We expect performances like this from him, and we always have a chance to win with him pitching.”

Katella took advantage of a defensive miscue by Anaheim in the third inning to take an early lead. Andres Agredano got a two-out single and advanced to third on an error. Angel Lopez hit a sharp line drive to left field to score Agredano.

Anaheim starting pitcher Adrian Gutierrez scattered five hits in the first four innings and struck out three.

“He pounded the zone and kept us off-balance with breaking balls early in counts,” Miranda said.

The Knights got to Gutierrez in the fifth. With runners on second and third, Lopez hit a two-run single to make it 3-0. After a single by Rafael Flores, Lopez scored on a wild pitch.

That was plenty of run support for Penaloza, who allowed just one hit through six innings.

Century earned a share of the league title by defeating Santa Ana Valley, 22-1, on Thursday.


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