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MATT MASIN, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Servite outfielder Tanner Smith is tagged out short of third base by Orange Lutheran infielder Tristan Hanoian at Hart Park on Friday.

Orange Lutheran finds spark, rallies to beat Servite

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ORANGE — Orange Lutheran fans uttered an audible “oooh” in the third inning Friday when it was announced Mater Dei had just beaten JSerra. That gave the Lancers a chance at a half-game lead over the Lions for first place in the Trinity League if they could beat Servite.

One problem. The Friars had a two-run lead through four innings, and their starter, Isaac Lopez, had allowed just two hits and made stifling the Lancers look easy.

Until the fifth.

Lopez hit the leadoff batter Aaron Kim and walked Brendan Avvertino on four pitches. Isaac Martinez then doubled to left-center field, scoring Kim and igniting a three-run rally that ultimately clinched a 3-2 win for second-ranked Orange Lutheran at Hart Park.

“I was just looking to drive a run in,” Martinez said of his hit. “Get runners in scoring position, and I just got a pitch that was hittable.”

The Lancers (16-3, 5-1) now carry a half-game lead for first place over JSerra. The two teams begin a three-game series Tuesday at Hart Park.

“We got some stuff going there (in the fifth), the dugout got fired up and that’s how you get rolling,” Lancers coach Eric Borba said. “When our guys play together and get everything going, we’re a pretty good team.

“I think our guys understood what a big game this was.”

Servite (14-7, 3-3) is tied with Mater Dei for fourth place.

The Friars jumped on top in the third, when Tanner Smith singled in Aaron Simpson, who began the inning with an infield single.

Austin Lim knocked in their second run with an RBI groundout in the fifth.

After Martinez’s double in the bottom of the fifth, Tristan Hanoian scored Avvertino with a sacrifice fly to tie the score. Martinez then scored the decisive third run on Zachary Lew’s bloop single to left field.

“(Lopez) was doing a good job when he was filling up the zone, making them hit the ball in play, and we were playing good defense behind him,” Servite assistant coach Duane Page said. “Unfortunately we just hit a little snag there (in the fifth).”

The Friars start a three-game series at home against St. John Bosco on Tuesday.


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