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Wake-up call puts No. 1 JSerra back on track

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO - JSerra held practice this past Saturday at 6:30 a.m. That was the morning after the Lions were pounded by Santa Margarita, 12-4, and Coach Brett Kay said his team needed to be “tougher.”

Maybe it worked.

The top-ranked Lions have dominated since then, beating Mater Dei, 7-2, Monday and again thumping the Monarchs, 9-1, Wednesday night at home.

“The 6:30 practice kind of got everyone like, ‘Woah, here we go,’ ” said Royce Lewis, who hit a three-run homer Wednesday. “I think it just woke everyone up. Woke up the bats, woke up the defense, woke up pitching. It just got us all together.”

Colin Townsend struck out five over his six innings of work Monday, and Collin Quinn picked up his seventh win Wednesday. One of the Trinity League’s more efficient pitchers, Quinn worked quickly and threw first-pitch strikes to 15 of the 25 batters he faced.

He finished six innings with one run allowed on four hits and four strikeouts.

“Every time he takes the ball he’s going to give us a chance to win,” Kay said. “He’s our horse and our ace and you wish you had a million Collin Quinns. Our team’s confident when he’s on the mound.”

The Lions (16-5, 6-1) oozed confidence at the plate against Mater Dei pitchers Jake Briones, Andrew Braun, Justin Taylor and Luke Williams.

They recorded 10 hits, including two home runs and three doubles. The Lions scored a run in every inning but the fifth, when Lewis flew out with the bases loaded.

Chase Strumpf smacked a two-run homer in the first and Brady Shockey went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI.

Jonathon Schiffer knocked in Mater Dei’s only run with an RBI groundout in the fourth.

The Monarchs (9-9, 2-3) and Lions will finish their three-game series Friday at Mater Dei.


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