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JSerra falls in Boras Classic title game
FULLERTON – Even the most talented teams have their trying moments.
JSerra, the nation’s top-ranked team according to MaxPreps, learned that lesson in the Boras Classic finale.
St. Francis of Mountain View rallied for two runs in the seventh inning, and the Lions fell to the Lancers, 3-2, in Saturday’s championship game at Cal State Fullerton’s Goodwin Field.
The Lancers (20-5), ranked 10th in the state, got a leadoff single from Jeremy Ydens to start the seventh. A pair of well-placed bunts put pressure on JSerra’s defense, and the Lions (21-4) could not record an out on either chance.
Jake Pries relieved Lyle Lin (0-1), inheriting a bases-loaded, no-out situation. He induced a pair of ground-ball outs, but the tying and go-ahead runs crossed the plate.
The Lions’ bats were quieted after they struck for two runs in the third inning. JSerra managed just two hits the rest of the way. The loss did not settle well with Lions coach Brett Kay, who called his team’s performance in the title game “embarrassing.”
“(St. Francis) did things that we normally do, which is beat infielders at the inside game,” Kay said. “It was like we didn’t know what hit us.”
“I don’t want us to be a good team that has accomplished nothing,” Kay continued, referring to the Lions coming up short in tournaments. “We still have aspirations of winning the Trinity League and hopefully a CIF championship. We have to learn how to finish.”
Lions center fielder Brady Shockey, who had two hits, reiterated the need for the Lions to bring energy to every game.
“It was a big game,” he said. “We should have come out stronger. No game should be taken lightly.”
Ryan Pena doubled to start JSerra’s two-run third inning. Christian Molfetta drove him in before scoring on an infield single by Shockey.
That was the only damage against Ydens (6-3). The UCLA commit went the distance, allowing just five hits to go with five strikeouts.
The Lancers lost in the final of the North bracket in the tournament last year. Ydens expressed excitement after his team was able to finish the job.
“It was a real grind today,” he said. “JSerra’s obviously a great team. It’s surreal. In that last inning, to be able to come back and win, it’s a really cool experience.”