Fryer on baseball: Anaheim Lions Tournament starts this week


It is a smaller Anaheim Lions Tournament this season.

“Only” 75 schools are in the Lions tournament that begins with a couple of games Wednesday, has a few more on Friday then really gets going Saturday. The tournament has had more than 80 teams a few times in its previous 42 years.

The 75 schools come from six states other than California. Teams will be here from Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. In the tournament’s history 244 different schools have been represented.

The tournament championship game is March 29 at 7:30 p.m. at La Palma Park.

The teams with the best records will play in the championship game. If more than two teams have the best records, then the two teams with the fewest runs allowed over the first four games advance to the championship game.

Sonora was last year’s Anaheim Lions Tournament champion. The tournament website is

Around the horn in Orange County baseball …

• League play began in a couple of leagues last week. A few others start league play this week. In the Trinity League, Santa Margarita and Orange Lutheran play each other three times: Tuesday afternoon at Santa Margarita, and Wednesday and Friday evenings at Hart Park in Orange, which is Orange Lutheran’s home field.

• Also this week: Tuesday, El Toro at Mater Dei in a nonleague doubleheader that begins at 3 p.m., and Woodbridge at Corona del Mar (Pacific Coast League); Wednesday, Fountain Valley at Marina (Sunset League), San Clemente at Aliso Niguel (South Coast League), Mission Viejo at Capistrano Valley (South Coast), and Huntington Beach at Edison (Sunset); Friday, El Toro at Aliso Niguel (South Coast) and Fountain Valley at Huntington Beach (Sunset).

• Sage Hill sophomore Edward Pelc is batting .476 with 10 hits, 12 runs scored and 12 RBI through eight games.

• Sage Hill went into this week with a 7-0-1 record and a 35-game undefeated streak.

• El Toro’s Jake Jackson pitched a three-hitter in the Chargers’ 5-0 win over Gahr of Cerritos on Saturday. Jackson struck out eight. El Toro’s staff also includes two returning All-South Coast League pitchers, seniors Noah Fluman and Sam Glick.

• The Ryan Lemmon Foundation, which runs the Ryan Lemmon Invitational tournament that begins April 1, and is involved in O.C. baseball in other ways, produces a weekly podcast on local baseball. It can be found at

• Fullerton, 7-2 overall, defeated Sunny Hills (8-2) in the Freeway League opener for both, 7-1, on Friday. Justin Kim drove in two runs for the Indians. Fullerton’s Michael Coppens pitched six innings in which he allowed no earned runs and three hits and struck out seven.

• Dana Hills senior right-hander Hans Crouse struck out 12 in a win over Trabuco Hills. Crouse signed with USC and is on the Baseball America preseason All-America team.

• Mater Dei senior Jonathan Schiffer had a fine all-around game in the Monarchs’ win over De La Salle of Concord. Schiffer, who signed with Washington, pitched a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts and hit two doubles with two RBI.

• Huntington Beach senior Nick Pratto went 3 for 4 with two home runs, a double and four RBI in the Oilers’ win over Los Alamitos in a Sunset League opener. Pratto, 2016 Sunset League MVP, signed with USC and is on Baseball America’s preseason All-America team.

• Corona del Mar coach John Emme got his 300th career win with the Sea Kings on Friday when they defeated Irvine.

• El Dorado junior pitcher/first baseman Kyle Luckham last week drove in five runs and as a pitcher got the win in a nonleague victory over Villa Park.

• Fullerton junior Seth Pineada-Nelson was 5 for 8 with three doubles and a triple over two games last week.

• How I voted in the county top 10 poll this week: 1. Huntington Beach; 2. Orange Lutheran; 3. Beckman; 4. Mission Viejo; 5. JSerra; 6. Mater Dei; 7. Los Alamitos; 8. El Dorado; 9. Servite; 10. Fountain Valley.

• The CIF-SS baseball rankings this week have two O.C. teams at No. 1 in their divisions. Like last week, Huntington Beach is No. 1 in Division 1 and Beckman is No. 1 in Division 2.

• Also in Division 1, Mater Dei is ranked at No. 4. Orange Lutheran at No. 5 and Servite at No. 6. Capistrano Valley Christian is No. 4 in Division 4.

• Four O.C. teams are in the Division 5 top 10. Sunny Hills is No. 2 (behind Oak Hills), Century is (bullet)No. 3, Katella is No. 5 and Whittier Christian is No. 10.

• Costa Mesa is No. 4 and Oxford Academy is No. 10 in Division 6.

• The Ryan Lemmon Spring Invitational and the Santa Ana Elks tournaments begin April 1. Information on the Lemmon tournament that includes Capistrano Valley, Canyon and El Modena can be found at The Santa Ana Elks tourney includes Northwood, Trabuco Hills and Villa Park and most of the Santa Ana public schools.

• The National Classic starts April 10. The No. 1 team in the California top 20, Buchanan of Clovis, is in the tournament, as well as Cypress, JSerra, Mission Viejo and host teams El Dorado and Esperanza.

• The Boras Classic is April 18-21. JSerra and Mater Dei are co-hosting. Also in the tourney are Aliso Niguel, El Toro, Huntington Beach and Orange Lutheran.

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