Mater Dei's Jonathan Schiffer smiles as he rounds third base after hitting a three-run homer during a game against Cypress at Mater Dei on Friday.

Schiffer homer sparks Mater Dei to win over Cypress


SANTA ANA – When a team is facing a tough pitcher, sometimes the best thing to do is to swing at the first pitch.

Mater Dei’s baseball team had scored just five runs over its previous two contests. The next challenge wasn’t going to get any easier against fifth-ranked Cypress, which had allowed two runs or less in six of its first eight games.

The Monarchs were aggressive early in the count, and it led to a 6-2 victory over the Centurions in a nonleague game Friday at Mater Dei High.

Third baseman Jonathan Schiffer showcased his arm on a couple of nice throws across the diamond, but it was his bat that put the Monarchs (3-2) in a winning position. The junior sent the first offering from Raul Salazar over the fence in left-center for a three-run homer in the first inning.

Schiffer and Salazar know each other well, and Schiffer said they had discussed the matchup before Friday’s game.

“I’ll have a little bit of bragging rights from now on,” Schiffer said. “I saw the ball well first pitch. I drove in some runs for the team, so it was a pretty solid feeling.”

The score was 3-1 after Schiffer’s home run.

Cypress (7-2) cut its deficit to 3-2 when Jason Baca homered in the fourth.

Mater Dei extended its lead in the fifth. Blake Hunt doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a wild pitch. Schiffer knocked in Michael Peabody with a single to left that made it 5-2.

“Cypress is a very deep team,” Monarchs coach Burt Call said. “We matched our intensity that we have had throughout the year. We did a good job and attacked them early.”

Senior right-hander Michael Thomas earned the win with a four-inning, two-run outing. He allowed three hits and struck out two.

Ben Kane got the save, striking out three over three scoreless innings.

Thomas has pitched in three of Mater Dei’s five games. He made only 54 pitches against Cypress because Call said he wants Thomas at full strength for the Monarchs’ appearance next week in the National High School Invitational in North Carolina.

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