Los Angeles Preps: Justin Greco

Perhaps the most intriguing matchup in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 baseball playoffs is Royal vs. Vista Murrieta.

Royal (20-9) had to win a wild-card game against Villa Park to advance to the first-round of the playoffs. Behind a three-run fourth inning, Royal came away with a 4-2 win.

Vista Murrieta (21-5) is the third-seeded team in the Division 1 playoffs. The Broncos won the Southwestern League and is one of the top teams in the state, ranked in the top 10 by a number of outlets.

Junior infielder Jeff Moberg leads Vista Murrieta with a .488 batting average in 26 games. He had a 19-game hitting streak to open the season and got at least one hit in every game but two. He is also 12-for-16 in stolen bases.

Senior infielder Holger Robalino leads Vista Murrieta with four home runs and is second on the team with 23 RBIs. He is hitting .407 in 26 games.

Junior outfielder Justin Greco leads Royal with four home runs and 34 RBIs in 27 games. He is hitting .316 with nine doubles.

Royal junior infielder Atherton Kniseley has four home runs and 19 RBIs in 26 games. He has a .312 batting average. Royal has three players hitting .400 or better.

Here is look at some of the other key first-round games from teams in the LA North area:

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LA North: CIF Southern Section baseball playoff pairings

May, 16, 2011
The CIF Southern Section baseball playoffs begin Tuesday with wild-card games. Edison of Huntington Beach earned the top seed in the Division I bracket. Mater Dei of Santa Ana is the second seed. Vista Murrieta is No. 3 and JSerra is No. 4.

Here’s a look at some of the key Division I wild-card matchups of teams in the LA North region:

Wild-card games, Tuesday
El Modena (15-13) at West Ranch (15-10-1)
Senior catcher Chris Barnett leads El Modena in hitting (.380) and doubles (13). He is second on the team with 15 RBIs. The team has hit two home runs all season. Junior first baseman JC Cloney leads West Ranch with four home runs and is second on the team with 15 RBIs. He is hitting .307. Junior Josh Heinz is hitting .362 and leads the team with 16 RBIs.

Millikan (13-16) at Moorpark (17-10)
Millikan junior Jordan Ybarra is hitting .402 and has driven in 33 runs in 29 games. He has 10 doubles, two home runs and scored 24 runs. Moorpark finished in fourth place in the Marmonte League with an 8-6 record. The Musketeers went 6-4 in their last 10 games including wins over Foothill and San Luis Obispo in the San Luis Obispo tournament.

Royal (19-8) at Villa Park (16-13)
Royal junior Justin Greco leads the team with four home runs and 34 RBIs in 27 games. He is hitting .316. Villa Park’s Wyatt Strahan leads the team with three home runs. He has 12 RBIs and is hitting .306. He is also 6-3 with a 1.53 ERA and 45 strikeouts on the mound.

Oxnard Pacifica (12-12) at Norco (18-8)
Pacifica junior Richard Vasquez leads the team with a .424 batting average. Senior outfielder Eric Contreras leads Pacifica with 14 RBIs and is hitting .319. Norco finished in a tie for second place in the Big VIII League with a 9-5 record. The Cougars went 7-3 in their last 10 games of the season and won three in a row against Centennial, Riverside Poly and Corona to close out the regular season.

First round, Friday
Tesoro (18-13) at Westlake (19-8)
Oxnard (20-6) at Dana Hills (17-13-1)
Newbury Park (18-9) at Camarillo (21-4-1)
Los Alamitos (12-13-1) at Hart (20-6)

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