Fryer: Golden West League rivals show their aces
Great pitchers are all over south Orange County baseball and in the Sunset and Trinity leagues, too. JSerra alone could have multiple pitchers on the All-County and All-CIF teams.
Other leagues have terrific hurlers. This week in the Golden West League, league leaders Ocean View and Orange are sending some good ones to the mound.
Orange junior right-hander Matthew Gibson is 4-1 with a 1.49 ERA. He gets the start Friday in the Panthers’ home game against Ocean View. Gibson was 8-1 last season.
Orange’s Jared Sturgeon does not have Gibson’s statistics, but the scouts still are paying attention. Sturgeon is a 6-foot-7, 235-pound right-handed senior. Orange coach Dennis Gerbasi said Strugeon’s fastball usually is right around 89 or 90 mph.
Sturgeon is 1-2 and was not helped much by his teammates’ defensive lapses earlier this season. The lapses have been fixed.
“It’s been a lot more fun coaching in this second half of the season,” Gerbasi said.
Orange beat Ocean View, 8-6, on Wednesday. The Panthers got the offense going against Seahawks starting pitcher Michael Giacone. Not many teams have done that. Coming into this week, Giacone had a 1.30 ERA and he has 64 strikeouts in 422/3 innings.
The Panthers and Seahawks tied for first place at 5-1 in league.
The Panthers lost five of their first six games. They are 10-0-1 since. Orange junior shortstop James Endersby is batting .481 with 26 hits and 23 RBI in 17 games.
Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:
• The JSerra and Mater Dei baseball teams are playing each other three times this week. JSerra won Monday’s game, 3-0. Mater Dei won Wednesday, 6-4. Their third and final Trinity League matchup is at JSerra today at 6 p.m.
• Mission Viejo’s softball team took a 23-game winning streak into its South Coast League home game Thursday against Aliso Niguel. The Diablos’ most-recent loss was to Pacifica, 2-1, on the final day of the 2014 regular season. Mission Viejo then outscored its CIF-Southern Section playoff opponents, 31-0, to win the Division 2 championship. (Pacifica was the Division 1 champion.)
• The Diablos, No. 1 in all sorts of state and national rankings, was 18-0 and had outscored this year’s opponents 96-10 going into Thursday’s game. The most runs they have allowed this season is two. Mission Viejo has not allowed more than two runs since a 9-3 win over San Clemente last May 12.
• County teams are ranked No. 1 in four of the Southern Section’s seven softball divisions. Orange Lutheran is No. 1 in Division 1, Mission Viejo in Division 2, San Clemente in Division 3 and Savanna in Division 6.
• The Mt. SAC Relays that began Thursday and continue today and Saturday will be the 57th and final Mt. SAC Relays held at Hilmer Lodge Stadium as it currently looks. The stadium will undergo a $62 million upgrade soon unless nearby residents force a halt to that and other Mt. San Antonio College projects to which they have voiced objection.
• General admission to the Mt. SAC Relays is, for today, $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $5 for children 12 and younger. Saturday admission is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and children. General parking is $5, preferred parking is $10.
• If the tiny details are resolved, former Kennedy football coach Mitch Olson will soon be named football coach at Loara. John Selbe, who has been a head coach at Cypress and an assistant at Los Alamitos and other schools, would have a major role on Olson’s staff. Olson coached Kennedy for 21 years, winning eight league championships and a CIF title, before leaving for a high school head coaching position in Georgia in 2008.
• Godinez hired Michael Echaves as its football coach. Echaves was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Fullerton, and at Santa Ana Valley and Segerstrom. Godinez was 0-10 in 2014.
• Edison’s nonleague football schedule this fall includes Canyon, Garfield of Los Angeles, Mater Dei, Servite and Tesoro.
• In the midst of all the signing day activity Wednesday, Mater Dei 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive tackle Frank Martin committed to USC.
• Lance Zeno, a great lineman at Fountain Valley High and UCLA in the ’80s, coached linemen at Mater Dei during the 2014 season, but as an Arizona resident he won’t be coaching at Mater Dei this year.
• CalHiSports.com released its final boys and girls basketball state top 40 teams. County girls teams in the top 40 are Mater Dei, at No. 2 (St. Mary’s of Stockton, which beat Mater Dei in the state finals, is No. 1.), Brea Olinda, No. 14, and El Dorado, No. 40.
• The final California boys basketball top 40 included Mater Dei at No. 2 (behind Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland, which beat Mater Dei in the state finals), and Orange Lutheran at No. 8.
• Yahoo! Sports listed its top 10 NBA prospects who currently are high school seniors. Mater Dei’s Rex Pflueger, a 6-6 Notre Dame signee and county player of the year for the just-concluded season, was among nine in the honorable mention category. No. 1 on that top 10 was Ben Simmons, a 6-9 forward in Australia who signed with LSU. Also on the list were Ivan Rabb, a 6-10 center at O’Dowd and a Cal commit, and Stephen Zimmerman, a 7-footer at Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas who looked great at the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei in February.
• People second-guess our All-County teams every year for every sport. We who select All-County teams second-guess ourselves. There are always those one or two athletes for whom we wish we could have created a spot.
• Among those players who just missed the cut on the All-County boys basketball team is El Dorado workhorse forward Elijah Mosham. He is a junior who, if his progress continues and his effort is consistent, will enjoy an All-County senior year.
• When coaches, parents and others complain about an All-County team, the request to them is to create a superior All-County team. Far more than 90 percent reply, “No, that’s not my job.”
• That’s like a passenger complaining about the route taken to the airport. “Have you got a better way to get there?” “No, I just don’t like your way.”
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