Servite baseball shuts out Mira Costa in National Classic’s opening round – Orange County Register

Servite outfielder Avery Jones can’t catch a diving catch as the ball gets away from him and ends up being a triple off Mira Costa’s Win Gurney in the top of the sixth inning of the first round of the National Classic at Servite High School. game in Anaheim on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Sam Gangwer, contributing photographer)

Servite pitcher Toby Kwon had no hits in the sixth inning as the Friars earned a sorely needed victory, 4-0 over Mira Costa, in the first round of the National Classic baseball tournament on Tuesday.

The Friars’ victory on their home field was their first game since being swept by Orange Lutheran last week in a three-game Trinity League series. Servite was held to five points in those losses to Orange Lutheran, the No. 2 team in the Orange County Top 25.

“It’s always good to remember what it’s like to win,” Servites coach Shawn Gilbert said with a smile. “When you don’t score any points, your margin for error is very small.”

Servite (8-9) will face Bishop Amat (13-3) in the second round of the tournament Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Irvine Valley College. Bishop Amat defeated Desert Oasis of Las Vegas 9-1 in a first-round match Tuesday.

Mira Costa (10-8-1) will face Desert Oasis (8-14) in a consolation match Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at El Dorado High.

Kwon, a 6-foot-2 junior right-hander, survived some tough times in the first and second innings before giving up 13 in a row.

With two outs in the sixth inning, Mira Costa’s Win Gurney drove the ball into the field gap in left center. Servite outfielder Avery Jones took the perfect angle to close quickly. He made a diving attempt, but the ball bounced off the tip of his glove and, with Friars center fielder Luke Wilson also chasing the line drive, the ball ricocheted into center field, allowing Gurney to heading to third base for a triple. It was the Mustangs’ first and only hit of the game.

“(Jones) is a very good outfielder,” Gilbert said. “If he missed it, then I know he couldn’t have been caught.”

Kwon struck out Mira Costa’s next batter to end the sixth inning. Senior right-hander Carter Vanderhook retired all three batters he faced in the seventh inning for Servite.

Kwon said he was too focused on pitching efficiency to notice he didn’t have a hit.

“I was just trying to do my job on the mound,” he said. “And our defense helped me a lot today.”

Mira Costa loaded the bases with one out in the first inning. Harrison Belden walked on four pitches, Max Martinez was hit by a pitch and an error on the front end of a double play attempt put the Mustangs within three.

Servite first baseman Tomas Cernius then made a nice grab of a line drive for the second out and threw to shortstop Hayden Woodson at second base to allow Martinez, who was well away from the bag, to finish the round.

The Mustangs had runners on first and second with one out in the second inning. A fly out and the first of Kwon’s five strikeouts ended that threat.

Servite got their first point at the end of the second. Wilson reached on an error, stole second base and took third on a Tyler Thorsteinson deep shot to center before scoring on a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead.

The Friars, No. 10 in the Orange County Top 10, scored their other three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Thorsteinson led off with a single, advanced to second base on Nathan Kang’s sacrifice fly and scored on Miles Scott’s double to right center field for a 2-0 lead.

Jones laid down a bunt that Mira Costa pitcher Aiden Pinn was able to make quickly, but his throw to first went over the target, allowing Scott to score. Jones stole third base before scoring on Woodson’s single to make it 4-0.

Kwon, meanwhile, continued to come out after strikeout with a nice curveball and, when he took the lead against right-handed hitters, fastballs that constantly clipped the outside corner.

Also in the National Classic:

No. 16 El Dorado 11, Columbia River (Washington) 2: Jake Vanderzee hit a grand slam and senior left-hander Jack Fishel struck out nine in five innings for the Golden Hawks (10-8) in a first-round victory.

El Dorado will face Granada Hills in a second-round game Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. at El Dorado High.

In the Boras Classic South:

No. 4 Huntington Beach 6, Ganesha 0: Nathan Aceves pitched five hitless innings before allowing a hit in the sixth as the Oilers (12-4) earned a victory in a first-round game at Mater Dei.

The Oilers will face Maranatha (10-3) in a second-round game Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Mater Dei.

Maranatha, No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 Top 10, beat San Dimas 5-4 in the first round.

In the spring tournament Ryan Lemmon:

No. 9 Los Alamitos 4, Créan Lutheran 3: Pinch hitter Devin Porch drove in the winning run and Jake Evans finished 4-for-4 for the Griffins (13-5).

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