Tuesday, May 31, 2011
LA South: Blair Field doubleheader highlights semifinal action
By Blair Angulo
CIF-SOUTHERN SECTION BASEBALL SEMIFINALS
Riverside J.W. North vs. Lakewood at Blair Field (Long Beach), Tuesday, 4 p.m.
As if the Division 1 bracket needed any more intrigue, this matchup features a team that knocked out the other team's starting catcher in a game earlier this season. Lakewood catcher Tyler Schultz suffered a broken shoulder blade when a North base runner plowed into him at the plate. The runner was ejected for violating non-contact rules and Schultz, who took his share of hits as the Lancers' quarterback last fall, was sidelined. Lakewood is riding high following its upset of top-seeded Huntington Beach Edison and highly touted prospect Henry Owens. The probable starter for the Lancers is Nick Torres, who gave up one hit over six innings in a second-round win at Tesoro.
Anaheim Esperanza vs. Long Beach Wilson at Blair Field, Tuesday, 7 p.m.
The Bruins, winners over Simi Valley at Blair Field last week in the quarterfinals, return to the site hoping to duplicate the result. They should be aware of every nook and cranny there -- something that may come in handy in such a tense atmosphere. Wilson head coach Andy Hall has gotten two shutouts in three playoff games and has seen his team outscore the opposition 14-4. Esperanza, the Century League winner, shocked second-seeded Mater Dei in the quarters.
Bonita at Beckman, Tuesday, 3:15 p.m.
The top-seeded Bearcats appear to be too well-balanced for any other team in Division 3. The pitching is there, with ace Justin Garza and Brandon Murfett at the forefront of that success. They're hitting .358 as a team this season. Bonita has outscored eight opponents, 93-9, in the month of May, including 22-1 in the postseason.
Woodbridge at Culver City, Tuesday, 3 p.m.
Who could have guessed that Culver City would still be in the Division 3 race? The Centaurs limped into the postseason, losing seven of their last 11 regular season games, yet they're a win away from getting to the final Dodger Stadium. Tyler Adkison, George Aceves, Ryan Mulvihill and Rodney Bradley are an offensive force.
Torrance vs. Bishop Amat at Dedeaux Field (USC), Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
Bishop Amat was, at one point earlier this season, the top-ranked team in the entire state. There's immense -- and sometimes untapped -- potential in La Puente. Head coach Andy Nieto saw it on full display last Friday, as the Lancers pummeled Fontana Kaiser, 13-2. They look to carry over that momentum to the Division 4 semifinal against Torrance, a team they lost to, 13-9, in the Redondo Tournament championship game earlier in the year.