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Kern, Brea Olinda shut down JSerra
Brea Olinda's coach said the team is most confident when Nick Kern is on the mound.
Kern verified that confidence Tuesday. He pitched six shutout one-hit innings for the Wildcats as they beat JSerra, 3-0, in a CIF-Southern Section Division 1 wild-card playoff game at JSerra.
Brea Olinda (15-13-1), which finished fifth in the seven-team Century League, will play at Agoura, 21-4-1 and Marmonte League champion, in the first round Friday. JSerra, which finished third in the six-team Trinity League, concluded at 12-16.
Kern, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior right-hander, is 5-1 with a 1.17 ERA. He will attend UCLA, thanks in large part to his 4.4 grade-point average, and has been invited to the university's baseball team as a preferred walk-on.
"Nick's not blessed with a lot of talent," Brea first-year coach Matt Sorensen said. "But he's a great student of the game. He knows when and how to make adjustments."
Brea scored a run in the second inning with the help of two JSerra errors. The Wildcats scored the other two runs in the fourth, in which Cody Stoerck and Kyle Cawdry supplied run-scoring singles.
And Kern kept shutting down the Lions until Jacob Love was brought in to pitch a scoreless seventh inning.
The playoffs continue with first-round games Thursday in divisions 2, 4 and 6, and with first-round games Friday in divisions 1, 3, 5 and 7.
Also in Division 1:
Capistrano Valley 4, Pacifica of Oxnard 2: Gradeigh Sanchez drove in rwo runs for the host Cougars (19-11-1), who play at Los Alamitos on Friday.
Edison 2, Chaparral of Temecula 0: Tyler Jones and Timmy Lopes collaborated on a shutout, and Lopes homered for the host Chargers (12-13), who play at third-seeded and division defending champion J.W. North of Riverside (29-5) Friday.
In Division 2:
Valencia 1, Yucaipa 0: Zach Williams pitched a shutout and homered5 for the visiting Tigers (17-13), who play at Mayfair of Lakewood on Thursday.
Trabuco Hills 5, Loyola of Los Angeles 4: Trevor Petersen's two-run hit in the sixth inning tied the game, and Sean McCarrell drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh for the Mustangs (14-13) who play at Dos Pueblos of Goleta in the first round.
In Division 3:
Corona del Mar 5, Beverly Hills 0: Billy MacDonald pitched a shutout for the host Sea Kings (16-11) who will play at Lancaster on Friday.
In Division 4:
Anaheim 4, Palm Springs 2: Goliath Gaddy pitched a complete game for the host Colonists (14-14), who will play at Jurupa Valley in the first round.
Laguna Beach 5, Victor Valley 4: Steven Harrison hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh for the Breakers (18-8) who play at second-seeded La Salle of Pasadena on Thursday.
In Division 6:
Crean Lutheran 2, Fairmont Prep 1: Matt Markus pitched a complete game for the host Saints (17-10), who will play at Salesian of Los Angeles on Thursday.