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Orange Lutheran baseball loses to Harvard-Westlake in Division 1 semifinal as timely hits disappear – Orange County Register

ORANGE – Getting timely hits helped the Orange Lutheran baseball team win 25 games and the Trinity League championship, win a big early-season tournament and advance to the championship game of the National High School Invitational.

Those timely shots didn’t come often enough on Tuesday.

The Lancers left seven runners in scoring position in their 4-2 loss to Harvard-Westlake in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoff semifinals at Hart Park.

Harvard-Westlake (27-4-1) will face Corona (29-3) in the championship game Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Lake Elsinore Diamond.

Orange Lutheran (25-7) was unable to capitalize on its opportunities.

After allowing three runs in the top of the first inning, the Lancers left runners on second and third base in the first inning, had a runner on second base with one out in the second inning but did not score, let a runner on third. in the third inning, left the bases loaded in the fifth inning and left a runner on second in the sixth.

Although frustrated by that, Orange Lutheran coach Eric Borba appreciated the way the Lancers continued to work in the game that lasted 3 hours and 12 minutes.

“There were times where this match could have gotten out of hand,” Borba said. “But we showed a lot of courage and fought to stay in the game.”

It was the fourth game this season between Orange Lutheran and Harvard-Westlake, ranked No. 2 and 3, respectively, in the Prep Baseball California State Top 25, which places Corona at No. 1.

Orange Lutheran beat the Wolverines 4-3 in the semifinals of the Prep Baseball California Spring Invitational in February, lost to Harvard-Westlake 2-1 in April and beat Harvard-Westlake 3-2 in eight innings in the semifinals. finals of the National High School Invitational in North Carolina. in April.

Adding in Tuesday’s 4-2 result, Harvard-Westlake has scored 11 points to Orange Lutheran’s 10 in their four games.

Harvard-Westlake coach Jared Halpert enjoyed the competition against Orange Lutheran.

“It’s one of the best programs in the country,” Halpert said of Orange Lutheran. “I have a lot of respect for what Eric and his coaching staff are doing.”

Harvard-Westlake took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Wolverines senior center fielder James Tronstein, a Stanford signee, singled and stole second base. Washington-commit junior Cade Goldstein walked, as did junior Jack Laffitte, to load the bases. Duncan Marsten then smoked a one-hopper that went past Orange Lutheran second baseman Justin Lopez for a hit that led to Tronstein and Goldstein. Laffitte scored on a defender’s choice to make it 3-0.

Orange Lutheran got a run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double from junior first baseman Josiah Hartshort, his team-leading 28th RBI of the season. Two-time LSU signee Derek Curiel.

Wolverines senior Bryce Rainer, a slick Texas-signed infield shortstop who entered the game with a .522 batting average, walked with the bases loaded for a 4-1 lead.

The Lancers scored their other run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Wyatt Hanoian singled and scored when left-hander Curiel sent a double just inside the left field line to make it 4-2.

Orange Lutheran was down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh.

A late game highlight for Orange Lutheran was sophomore right-hander Tristen Ramos’ relief pitch. He entered the game in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and no outs. Ramos retired the next three batters to end the inning and retired all three batters he faced in the seventh inning.

Tuesday’s loss was a rare one for Orange Lutheran at Hart Park, the Lancers’ home field. They were 10-1 going into the game.

Orange Lutheran became eligible to play in the CIF Southern California Regional by reaching the semifinals. But the Lancers may not accept the invitation to the regional playoffs which begin May 28.

“It’s still something we’re going to discuss,” Borba said after Tuesday’s game. “As coaches, if the players want to go to regionals, we will be there with them all the way. We will rely on the players to make this decision.

JSerra won the CIF-SS Division 1 championship last season, then declined to play in the CIF SoCal Regional.

California Daily Newspapers

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