Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Invitational: Day Two Recap

PBR California Staff

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IRVINE, CALIF. - The second annual PBR California Preseason Invitational kicked off the CIF-Southern Section season with 16 of the top teams from the section participating in a winner take all full bracket tournament. The four game tournament is an early test for the teams with an eye on the biggest prize in the sport. With some of the top teams comes some of the top players and with them come the eyeballs of MLB Scouts who were out en masse on Saturday.  

Day One kicked things off with a bang, but Day Two brought some significant matchups including Prep Baseball Report Nationally ranked Corona (#22) vs Huntington Beach (#3), while #12 Harvard Westlake was also in action against Servite. There were also plenty of state ranked teams in action on Day Two as the march towards the semifinals was in full force. 

The theme for many of the games was the pitching. It certainly played a big role in all the quarterfinal games. 

As we move into the third round of the tournament, let’s take a look back at the games from Day Two of the PBR California Preseason Invitational. 

Consolation Bracket

Loyola 5 

Redondo 2

With the game tied at two in the top of the seventh, sophomore James Dell’amico hit a three-two pitch for a bases clearing single that would be the difference in the game. Carson Chavez added an RBI with a fielder's choice in the first inning. Senior pitcher Alex Cohen went three strong innings, allowing no runs on one hit with four strikeouts. Four Redondo players contributed a hit each. Senior Jake Fallon provided four strong innings in relief scattering two hits with two walks and three strikeouts for the Seahawks. 

Ayala 3

El Dorado 1

In an absolute pitchers duel junior RHP Matthew Yarc got a bit more offense to come out victorious. Yarc went five shutout innings allowing only one hit while striking out two. Sophomore Jack Fishel was equally impressive in his start for El Dorado going three innings of no hit shutout ball with six strikeouts. Ayala broke through in the fifth inning  when Marcus Galvan tripled then scored on a base hit from Ethan Nunez. Sophomores Ethan Ybanez and Aiden Erlandsen each followed with RBI singles to push the score to 3-0. Senior Bradley Wakefield would lead off the seventh with a double and would later score on Garvey Rumary’s (SDSU) triple for the only run for El Dorado. 

Harvard Westlake 3

Servite 2

Harvard Westlake used a top of the seventh RBI single from freshman James Tronstein (Stanford) to go up 3-2 before senior Holden Rath closed the door in the bottom half for the win. Harvard Westlake scored in the top of the first with an RBI single from senior Owen Carlson. Servite countered in the bottom half of the second with an RBI sac-fly from senior Nick Rossetti. Each team would add one in the third and that’s how it stayed until the seventh. Senior Eli Weinbach got the start for Harvard Westlake going four innings surrendering six hits, two runs, and striking out four. Rath came on in the fifth and faced two over the minimum the rest of the way. 

Cypress 1

Yucaipa 0

Senior Luke Matlock and sophomore Wyatt Rosales made a bottom of the first RBI groundout from Matthew Morrell (Oregon St.) hold up as Cypress defeated Yucaipa. Matlock went 5.2 innings allowing just two hits, one walk while striking out five. Matlock and Morrel were also among a group of fives Cypress players to collect base hits. For Yucaipa, Noah Reimer turned in a very strong outing of his own going 6 innings scattering five hits, walking three, striking out four and allowing the lone run of the game in the bottom of the first. Absolutely did enough to earn the win. Yucaipa was unable to capitalize on an uncharacteristic four errors by Cypress. 


Etiwanda 11

Foothill 3

Down 3-2 in the top of the sixth Etiwanda took the lead with four in the inning and added five more runs in the seventh to blow it open. The only afternoon quarterfinal game of the day turned into the Ebel show as sophomore Brady and freshman Trey. Combined they were 8-for-9 with 7 RBI and a run scored. For good measure, Brady pitched five innings where he was at times very good and times off to the result of two earned runs, four walks, four strikeouts, a pair of hit batters and only one hit. He was big when he needed to be both on the mound and at the plate. Trey put together quite the night out of the nine hole going 4-for-4 with 4 RBI just turning the lineup over consistently for the Eagles. Senior Andrew Harbour (USC) was good enough to earn a win last night showing the type of moxie and stuff that will make him a valuable pitcher for the Knights this year and into his future. He kept the 2nd and 4th innings from getting out of hand and handed a 3-2 lead over to the pen after a four inning six hit, three strikeout, one walk effort. 

Gahr 1

Norco 0

Intense would be one way to describe this one as a pitchers duel morphed into very good defense before some mistakes made it interesting and in the middle of it all was a freshman lefty and senior righty both of whom were more than deserving of the win. That went to the righty Jaden Alba (ASU) of Gahr who threw a complete game 79 pitch performance that showed the best of him at times. The freshman lefty is Landon Hovermale who scattered four hits and allowed the game's only run over six very good innings doing it all on only 65 pitches. The biggest hit came from senior Kyle Panganiban (CSUN) who smacked a hanging breaking ball into left field for an RBI double scoring Alba who had singled earlier in the inning. Panganiban would add another hit to leadoff the sixth. The biggest moment of the game came in the seventh when Norco had the tying run at third and the go ahead run at second before Alba closed it out. 

SEMIFINAL NO. 1 - Gahr vs Etiwanda

Orange Lutheran 6

Aquinas 1

Orange Lutheran scored three in the first and three more in the sixth to break it open and win to advance to the semifinals. Junior Derek Curiel (LSU) got things started with an RBI single in the first. Josiah Hartshorn followed with a RBI single for the second run before a Brady Murrieta (Texas) sac-fly plated the third. Aquinas scored on a sac-fly from Eric Bitonti (Oregon) in the third but it wouldn’t be enough. Uncommitted senior Nic Peterson was very strong in his showing on the mound for Orange Lutheran going three innings of one hit four strikeout command. Altogether the Orange Lutheran staff held Aquinas to just four hits. 

Corona 2

Huntington Beach 0

Junior Sam Burgess (TCU) was masterful on the mound at times for Corona throwing six innings of scoreless two hit ball in holding a powerful Huntington Beach at bay in a matchup of two nationally ranked teams. Tied at zero in the fourth, Corona struck for a pair of runs thanks to singles from Josh Springer (Oregon) and Jaylen White before a loud double from Jared Saldana made the score 2-0 in favor of the Panthers who never looked back. Junior Jake Skelskey threw a 1-2-3 seventh to hold the lead and secure the win for the Panthers. Huntington Beach could muster only two hits on the night coming from seniors Ralph Velasquez and Bradley Navarro. 

SEMIFINAL NO. 2: Orange Lutheran vs Corona