Baseball, softball championships on Saturday are loaded with top matchups

·3 min read
Encino, CA, Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - JSerra Catholic players cheer on teammates during a game against Harvard Westlake at O'Malley Family Field. Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
JSerra baseball players will be trying to win their first Southern Section Division 1 championship. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

After having their season halted in March 2020 because of COVID-19, high school baseball and softball players finally got back to a little normalcy this spring, and it culminates on Saturday with Southern Section and City Section championship games.

There are four baseball finals at Cal State Fullerton. In Division 6, Elsinore will play La Habra at 10 a.m. In Division 4, Rancho Cucamonga will face Royal at 1 p.m. In Division 2, Thousand Oaks will play Trabuco Hills at 4 p.m. In Division 1, JSerra will take on Harvard-Westlake at 7:30 p.m.

In the City Section Open Division, San Pedro will play host to El Camino Real at 11 a.m.

The Southern Section softball schedule for Saturday at Barber Park in Irvine: Division 7, Lakeside vs. St. Monica, 9:30 a.m.; Division 3, Sultana vs. Redondo, 12:30 p.m.; Division 6, Orange Vista vs. St. Bonaventure, 3:30 p.m.; Division 2, Villa Park vs. Upland, 6:30 p.m.

The most intriguing baseball matchup is in Division 2, where Texas Tech-bound pitcher Mason Molina of Trabuco Hills will get to take on perhaps the best hitting trio in Southern California in Roc Riggio, Max Muncy and Charlie Saum of Thousand Oaks. They've combined to hit 29 home runs, while the team has 42.

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In Division 1, the final game matches the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. Harvard-Westlake was seeded No. 2 even though it defeated JSerra in April. The top-seeded Lions have UCLA commits Eric Silva, David Horn and Luke Jewett available for pitching duties. Silva will start. Harvard-Westlake has its No.1 pitcher, Cal-bound Christian Becerra, rested and ready to go.

San Pedro has a chance to make history again. The Pirates are the last non-San Fernando Valley team to win a City title in 1992. El Camino Real has won nine City championships. It could be a game filled with hitting since both teams used their No. 1 pitchers in the semifinals on Wednesday.

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In softball, the City Section Open Division final has El Camino Real hosting Granada Hills at 11 a.m. The two West Valley League rivals have veteran pitchers. On Saturday, Barber Park in Irvine will be the site for four Southern Section finals, topped by the 6:30 p.m. Division 2 matchup of Villa Park against Upland. Villa Park's Sydney Somerndike was named the Gatorade state player of the year on Friday.

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There will be one more week of action if teams opt in for the first Southern California regional baseball and softball playoffs next week. Harvard-Westlake's baseball team has already told the CIF it is opting out because players and coaches are headed out for summer competitions around the country. San Pedro's softball team won't participate either.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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