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Sonora's Piraino stops La Habra from clinching
For its biggest game of the season, Sonora sent to the mound a sophomore to make his varsity starting pitching debut.
Andrew Piraino acted like he had done this before. He pitched a four-hitter Friday for the Raiders as they defeated La Habra, 2-0, in a Freeway League game at Sonora.
La Habra could have clinched the league championship with a victory. The Highlanders, at 10-3 in league, still are in first place with a one-game lead over Sonora (9-4). Next week, the final week of the regular season, La Habra plays third-place Troy twice while Sonora plays sixth-place Buena Park twice.
Piraino, the Raiders’ every-day catcher, pitched well in relief last week against Sunny Hills, so Sonora coach Pat Tellers had confidence Piraino would be fine Friday. Piraino took the spot in the starting rotation that had been Gavin Blodgett’s.
“We decided to go with Andrew because he’s just had better stuff lately,” Tellers said. “We’ll take this.”
Piraino gave up one hit in each of the first four innings, loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter in the fifth, then pitched 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh.
He was supported by defense that was errorless and sometimes spectacular. Center fielder Josh Choice made a couple of tough catches, including a diving grab, and the Raiders infield turned two double plays.
“That was key,” Piraino said. “Those ‘layouts’ in the outfield and the double plays in the infield.”
Sonora (14-11 overall) scored two unearned runs in the second inning.
Also in the Freeway League:
Sunny Hills 1, Troy 0: Derek Hacker pitched a two-hitter for the host Lancers (12-10-1, 7-6).
In the Century League:
El Modena 4, No. 5 El Dorado 1: Evan Porcella pitched six innings to get the victory for the host, third-place Vanguards (14-10, 8-7).
No. 4 Esperanza 4, Brea Olinda 2: Nick Catalano and Mitch Christensen had two hits each for the host, league-champion Aztecs (19-6, 13-3).
In the Empire League:
No. 6 Cypress 5, Tustin 2: Nick Valdez homered and Tyler Alamo had two RBIs for the host Centurions (23-5, 9-1), who are tied for first with Pacifica.
In the Garden Grove League:
Rancho Alamitos 3, Santiago 0: Jim Roll pitched a two-hitter with eight strikeouts for the visiting, league-leading Vaqueros (16-5, 11-2).
Los Amigos 8, La Quinta 4: The host Lobos (11-11, 6-7) beat La Quinta for the first time since 1983 as Jorge Bedolla and Adrian Carillo had three RBIs each.
In the Golden West League:
Ocean View 9, Santa Ana 0: Timmy Robinson’s school single-season record 10th home run paced the host Seahawks (12-12, 9-4), who are tied for first place with Westminster.
Segerstrom 4, Loara 1: David May pitched a complete game for the Jaguars (16-7, 8-5), who trail first-place Ocean View and Westminster by one game.
Westminster 6, Orange 5: Frankie Rodriguez’ two-run single in the bottom of the seventh took the Lions (13-9, 9-4) to victory.
In the Pacific Coast League:
Woodbridge 18, Corona del Mar 6: The Warriors (8-15, 5-8) used a 14-run fifth inning for the home victory. Tyler Durkee and Mbusi Hiatshwayo drove in three runs apiece for Woodbridge.
In the Sea View League:
Mission Viejo 8, San Juan Hills 1: Zack McLeod had three RBIs for the visiting, league-leading Diablos (16-12, 8-2).
In the South Coast League:
No. 3 El Toro 4, San Clemente 1: Chasen Ford got the victory to improve to 9-0 for the visiting Chargers (22-6, 7-3).
Capistrano Valley 7, Dana Hills 0: Steve Trojan pitched a two-hitter with eight strikeouts, and Casey Bennett and Tyler Gnesda homered for the visiting Cougars (16-9-1, 5-5).