Los Angeles Preps: Blake McFadden

LA North and Inland Empire: Garvey's making the trip to Dodger Stadium

May, 31, 2011
5/31/11
7:51
PM PT


PALM DESERT — Steve Garvey was part of numerous clutch victories in his 19-year Major League Baseball career but he couldn't recall feeling this emotional after a win.

The legendary Dodgers first baseman was briefly at a loss for words Tuesday after watching the Palm Desert High School baseball team score twice with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Westlake Village Oaks Christian, 2-1, in a Southern Section Division 4 semifinal at College of the Desert.

Garvey’s son, Ryan Garvey, is a senior center fielder for the top-seeded Aztecs, who advanced to the championship game Friday afternoon at Garvey’s place of employment for 14 years, Dodger Stadium. Palm Desert will meet the winner of tonight’s semifinal between La Puente Bishop Amat and Torrance.

“It has been destiny, just to get back to Dodger Stadium,” Steve Garvey said with a shaky voice and glistening eyes. “This is what champions do, champions never give up.”

Then he dropped a little secret on what to look for in the championship game, something the casual observer might not notice but would be an especially proud moment for the 1974 National League MVP.

“You might see Ryan at first base for an inning,” Garvey said before hurrying off to congratulate the team and photograph the on-field celebration.

In the other dugout, the son of another Los Angeles sports luminary, Oaks Christian first baseman Trevor Gretzky, tried to make sense of his team’s collapse.

“They had a good last inning,” Gretzky said of the Aztecs. “Hats off to them.”

Gretzky, the son of Hall of Fame hockey player, Wayne Gretzky, drove in the only run for Oaks Christian with a one-out double over Garvey’s head in the first inning. He later used his 6-foot-4 frame to reach over the fence to snare a foul pop fly off the bat of Garvey, leaving the Lions just three outs from the championship game.

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LA North and Orange County: Oaks Christian 6, Laguna Beach 3

May, 27, 2011
5/27/11
8:28
PM PT
WESTLAKE VILLAGE -- When his teammates needed him most, Drew Hacker responded.

The senior captain for the Westlake Village Oaks Christian baseball team delivered a pair of timely hits and provided the Lions with a reliable presence on the diamond throughout Friday's 6-3 victory over visiting Laguna Beach in a Southern Section Division 4 quarterfinal showdown.

[+] EnlargeDrew Hacker
Eddie Raburn/For ESPNLA.comWhenever Oaks Christian needed him Friday, senior Drew Hacked seemed to deliver in a victory.
“When it comes down to leaders, no one is as important to our program than Drew. He went out there and got things done for us, no questions asked,” Oaks Christian coach Tim Penprase said.

Hacker did just that for the Lions (25-6) -- he got things done, on more than one occasion.

Trailing by a run in the bottom of the first inning, Trevor Gretzky came around to score from third base for Oaks Christian on a well-executed suicide squeeze by Hacker. The sequence, along with a run scored by Brandon Evans beforehand, gave the Lions a 2-1 lead heading into the second inning.

Hacker was just getting started too. With two outs in the bottom of the third inning, his pressure-packed single ended up scoring both Gretzky and Cole Taylor to extend the advantage to 4-1. Hacker scored as well, on a Nate Palace base hit, to give Oaks Christian a comfortable four-run lead.

“I'm out there to do a job, fill my role on this team like everyone else, that's all,'' Hacker said. “Stats don't mean much to me. I'm more concerned with winning. Everything else is a bonus.''

The Breakers (27-3) threatened in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Steven Harrison stepped into the batter's box. His grounder was fielded by Hacker, who combined with second baseman Blake McFadden and first baseman Gretzky to turn an inning-ending double play.

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