Flores' slam highlights Orange Lutheran victory


Orange Lutheran coach Eric Borba had one word to describe his feelings about his team Friday night.


An early offensive explosion, which included a grand slam by Nathan Flores, led the fifth-ranked Lancers to a 9-3 victory over Mater Dei in a Trinity League game at Mater Dei High.

Orange Lutheran (17-7, 5-4) had started the week by losing to the Monarchs, but came back to win the next two in the teams’ three-game league series. The Lancers won, 9-0, on Wednesday.

“We were kind of on a downward spiral,” Borba acknowledged about his team’s state after Monday’s loss. “We talked a little bit on Tuesday about going out and playing free and easy because we know we’re capable of playing with anybody.

“It really is a true testament to the guys on the team and the character that we have.”

A leadoff double by Tristan Hanoian and two RBI ground outs gave Orange Lutheran a 2-0 lead in the first.

The Lancers extended that to 4-0 with a second-inning RBI single by Garrett Mitchell and a bases-loaded walk.

The next batter was Flores, and the junior connected for a grand slam to right field, giving Orange Lutheran an 8-0 lead.

“Nathan just came up huge,” Borba said. “Everybody in our lineup has been producing and it was his turn tonight.”

Mater Dei (12-11, 3-6) scored a run in the third when a single by Brandon Perez brought Bryan Call in to score. A nicely turned double play brought the Monarchs’ momentum to a screeching halt.

The Monarchs loaded the bases in the sixth, but were unable to capitalize.

An RBI single in the seventh inning by Josh Bissonette pushed the Lancers’ lead to 9-2.

Call scored once more in the bottom of the seventh inning, tallying Mater Dei’s final run.

In the Orange League:

Katella 8, Santa Ana Valley 0: Junior Matt Morello threw a perfect game for the Knights (12-9-1, 6-4) at Boysen Park in Anaheim. Morello struck out six.

In the Academy League:

Sage Hill 3, Crean Lutheran 1: The Lightning (15-6, 10-0) clinched the league title by beating the Saints (16-8, 5-3) for the second time this week.

In the Sunset League:

Edison 3, Marina 1: Noah Kronfly pitched a three-hitter with five strikeouts, and Kevin Ando went 2 for 3 with two RBI for the Chargers (15-7, 5-5).

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