Baseball finals preview: Mission Viejo vs. Chino Hills
CIF-SS BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
CHINO HILLS (21-8) VS. MISSION VIEJO (25-10)
Where, when: San Manuel Stadium, San Bernardino, Saturday, 4 p.m.
Fan info: general admission, $12; students w/school ID and children (5-13), $5; parking, $5. The game will be streamed live at TWCCommunity.com.
Outlook: Neither Division 2 finalist was among the bracket’s top four seeded teams. Chino Hills was champion of the Baseline League, and in the playoffs beat Redlands East Valley, 7-1, in the first round, Rio Mesa of Oxnard, 6-2, in the second round, Moorpark, 3-2, in nine innings in the quarterfinals and top-seeded San Clemente, 4-3, in the semifinals. Mission Viejo lost two of its three Sea View League games to San Clemente, including back-to-back losses of 2-1 and 4-3 last month. The Diablos finished second to San Clemente in the Sea View League. In the playoffs, Mission Viejo defeated Yucaipa, 6-4, in the first round, Oxnard, 11-0, in the second round, Royal of Simi Valley, 2-1, in eight innings in the quarterfinals and Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta, 4-2, in the semifinals. Diablos sophomore pitcher Tanner Bibbee has three playoff wins. Standout senior left-hander Patrick Sandoval is the likely starter for Mission Viejo in the final. Sandoval, who committed to USC and is likely to receive league, county and CIF postseason honors, is 8-3 with a 1.05 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 862/3 innings. Senior outfielder Matt Ryhlick leads the Diablos in RBI with 20. Senior shortstop Tyler Odekirk is batting .316 with 19 RBI. Chino Hills has a power-hitting lineup that includes senior designated hitter Konnor Zickefoose who has 10 home runs and 29 RBI, and senior outfielder Chris Ceballos who has 12 homers. Chino Hills’ probable starting pitcher is 6-foot-4 senior left-hander Bailey Falter, who signed with UC Santa Barbarbara. Falter has a 1.21 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 692/3 innings. It could be a tight, low-scoring game. Mission Viejo has played well in such games in these playoffs.
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