Los Angeles Preps: Mitch Holland
May, 22, 2012
By Blair Angulo | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Blair Angulo for ESPN.comAnthony Shew found his groove again in leading Mission Viejo over Damien
LA VERNE -- The pitcher with the funky delivery picked the right time to snap out of his funk.
Mission Viejo right-hander Anthony Shew had been knocked around in recent weeks, failing to fool opponents with his uncommon throwing motion. The senior seemed to recapture his deceptiveness in a complete-game effort Tuesday afternoon, leading the Diablos to a 9-1 victory over Damien in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 baseball playoffs.
Defending section champion Mission Viejo advanced to the quarterfinals, where it will meet second-seeded Pacifica of Garden Grove on Friday.
Shew had been tagged for 35 hits over his last four starts but gave up just five -- all singles -- on Tuesday. The lone run Damien mustered came in the first inning. Shew struck out six and closed the door by retiring the last seven batters in order.
"It's great to see him bounce back," said senior first baseman Mitch Holland, whose three-run double in the fourth broke the game open. "He's one of my best friends and I know how hard it is on him when he doesn't pitch well."
Holland continued his torrid hitting. He had a pair of three-run home runs in a first-round win last week and, on Tuesday, extended his hot streak.
"He's a big, strong kid. He's been a three-year varsity player and a team leader," Mission Viejo head coach Chris Ashbach said. "He's the nicest kid in the world, so I couldn't be happier to see this happening for him right now."
Holland's bases-clearing rocket to dead center field knocked out Damien starting pitcher Grant Hockin, a highly regarded sophomore who has already verbally committed to play at UCLA. Hockin had beaten Mission Viejo, 3-0, in a tournament game at Chino last month.
"I've been hot lately and looking for the fastball early," Holland said. "He left the ball out over the plate after working me in and out really hard. I hit it hard and luckily it dropped."