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Sage Hill streaks to first CIF-SS baseball title
RIVERSIDE – Sage Hill lost the second game of a doubleheader with Windward of Los Angeles the first weekend of the baseball season.
After that Feb. 27 game, starting pitcher Brett Super spoke to his Lightning teammates.
“I was like, ‘all right guys. That’s our last one! Let’s end this on a win!’” Super said. “As the season kept going on, I kept believing in it more. I was like, ‘Hey! Let’s actually end this season on a win. That’d be cool. That’s our last loss, boys!’”
That was Sage Hill’s last loss.
Super pitched a three-hit shutout to help the top-seeded Lightning win its county-record 27th game in a row and its first CIF-SS baseball championship in Saturday’s 9-0 victory over Crean Lutheran in the Divsion 6 game at UC Riverside.
“The whole time you don’t want to think about the winning streak and any of that stuff because you know if you lose one game, it doesn’t matter. It’s meaningless,” Sage Hill coach Dominic Campeau. “Now that we won and we can look back, and the whole time the boys were jumping around, we’re thinking this is insane the season we have.
“Who wins 27 games in a row? It’s special.”
The shutout victory was the 14th of the season for Sage Hill (28-1) and the fourth of a playoff run in which the Lightning gave up just one run.
The win over Academy League rival Crean Lutheran (23-8) also capped a perfect season for Super. The junior right-hander, who entered the game with a 0.54 ERA, finished the season with a 13-0 record and a county-leading 133 strikeouts.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Super said of the day. “It’s even better that I felt like I relied on my team more. They’re making double plays like crazy. (Edward Pelc) had some amazing catches in the outfield. Oh my gosh, it was nice to just be able to throw, reach back and rely on my defense.”
Sage Hill turned three double plays to help protect an early lead.
The Lightning scored three runs in the first inning with a run-scoring single by Conner Bock and a two-run single by Toby Bush.
“I didn’t really envision it going that way when you think about scenarios,” Crean Lutheran coach Jake Haney said. “It’s kind of one of those things after a few batters I wish we could hit the reset button.”
Bock, Bush and Edward and Jack Pelc each had two RBI for Sage Hill.
Crean Lutheran had played Sage Hill close in the regular season and had outscored its playoff opponents, 61-13, but the Saints couldn’t string together any offense Saturday.
“I hate that it went this way today,” Haney said. “Our games in the season were coin flips. They were really close. I had a great feeling coming into today. We were just rolling in the playoffs.”
“Today’s game was such an outlier from any game the entire season. We didn’t play a game nearly like this.”