Servite baseball shuts out Mira Costa in National Classic’s opening round – Orange County Register

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Servite outfielder Avery Jones cant' make a flying catch as the ball gets away from him and ends up being a triple off the bat of Mira Costa's Win Gurney in the top of the sixth inning in the first round of The National Classic at Servite High School game in Anaheim on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)
Servite outfielder Avery Jones cant’ make a diving catch as the ball gets away from him and ends up being a triple off the bat of Mira Costa’s Win Gurney in the top of the sixth inning in the first round of The National Classic at Servite High School game in Anaheim on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Sam Gangwer, Contributing Photographer)

Servite pitcher Toby Kwon took a no-hitter into the sixth inning as the Friars got a win they sorely needed, 4-0 over Mira Costa, in the first round of the National Classic baseball tournament Tuesday.

The Friars’ win on their home field was their first game since getting swept by Orange Lutheran last week in a three-game Trinity League series. Servite was limited to five runs in those losses to Orange Lutheran, the No. 2 team in the Orange County Top 25.

“It’s always good to remember what it’s like to win,” said Servite coach Shawn Gilbert, with a smile. “When you’re not scoring any runs, your margin for error is very small.”

Servite (8-9) will play Bishop Amat (13-3) in the tournament’s second round Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Irvine Valley College. Bishop Amat beat Desert Oasis of Las Vegas 9-1 in a first-round game Tuesday.

Mira Costa (10-8-1) will play Desert Oasis (8-14) in a consolation bracket game Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at El Dorado High.

Kwon, a 6-foot-2, junior right-hander, survived rough moments in the first and second innings before retiring 13 in a row.

With two outs in the sixth inning Mira Costa’s Win Gurney drove the ball into the left-center field gap. Servite left fielder Avery Jones took the perfect angle to close on it quickly. He made a diving attempt, but the ball bounced off of the tip of his glove and, with Friars center fielder Luke Wilson also pursuing the line drive, the ball ricocheted into center field, enabling Gurney to pull into third base for a triple. It was the Mustangs’ first and only hit in the game.

“(Jones) is a really good outfielder,” Gilbert said. “If he missed it, then I know it couldn’t have been caught.”

Kwon struck out the next Mira Costa batter to end the sixth inning. Senior right-hander Carter Vanderhook struck out the three batters he faced in the seventh inning for Servite.

Kwon said he was too focused on pitching effectively to notice he had a no-hitter going.

“I was just trying to do my stuff on the mound,” he said. “And our defense helped me a lot today.”

Mira Costa loaded the bases with one out in the first inning. Harrison Belden walked on four pitches, Max Martinez was hit by a pitch and an error on the front end of a double-play attempt put Mustangs on all three bases.

Servite first baseman Tomas Cernius then made a fine grab of a line drive for the second out and threw to shortstop Hayden Woodson at second base to get Martinez, who was well off of the bag, to end the inning.

The Mustangs had runners on first and second with one out in the second inning. A fly out and Kwon’s first of five strikeouts ended that threat.

Servite got its first run in the bottom of the second. Wilson reached on an error, stole second base and took third on Tyler Thorsteinson’s deep fly out to center before scoring on a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead.

The Friars, No. 10 in the Orange County Top 10, scored their other three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Thorsteinson led off with a single, advanced to second base on Nathan Kang’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Miles Scott’s double to right-center field for a 2-0 lead.

Jones laid down a bunt that Mira Costa pitcher Aiden Pinn got to quickly, but his throw to first sailed wide of the target, allowing Scott to score. Jones stole third base before scoring on Woodson’s single to make it 4-0.

Kwon, meanwhile, continued to get out after out with a fine curveball and, when he got ahead in counts against right-handed hitters, fastballs that consistently trimmed the outside corner.

Also in the National Classic:

No. 16 El Dorado 11, Columbia River (Wash.) 2: Jake Vanderzee hit a grand slam and senior left-hander Jack Fishel struck out nine over five innings for the Golden Hawks (10-8) in a first-round win.

El Dorado will play Granada Hills in a second-round game Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. at El Dorado High.

In the Boras Classic South:

No. 4 Huntington Beach 6, Ganesha 0: Nathan Aceves pitched five hitless innings before giving up a hit in the sixth as the Oilers (12-4) were victorious in a first-round game at Mater Dei.

The Oilers will play Maranatha (10-3) in a second-round game Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Mater Dei.

Maranatha, which is No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 Top 10, beat San Dimas 5-4 in the first round.

In the Ryan Lemmon Spring Tournament:

No. 9 Los Alamitos 4, Crean Lutheran 3: Pinch-hitter Devin Porch drove in the winning run and Jake Evans was 4 for 4 for the Griffins (13-5).

 

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