The Maranatha High School varsity baseball team opened the season by competing in the Inland Valley Baseball Tournament, which began Feb. 12. The Minutemen collected three consecutive wins in tournament play before dropping their first game at La Verne Bonita, 5-1, on Saturday.
It was a tough day against great opposing pitching. The Minutemen were held to only two hits, one of which was a solo home run by junior right fielder Dylan Zdunek — his sixth extra-base hit in four games. He also extended his hitting streak to four games and is batting .500 on the season. Senior catcher Camden Andrews finished the day 1-for-2 while senior pitcher Justin Lee tossed one clean inning with a strikeout.
Maranatha traveled to Upload and won its third straight game, 5-3, last Wednesday. Freshman starting pitcher Zachary Strickland earned the win after compiling five innings of two-run ball with three strikeouts and three walks. Zdunek had his power stroke working as he went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored, while junior first baseman Will Allen went 1-for-2 with two RBI, a run scored and a walk. Andrews finished with a double and an RBI, while senior outfielder Nick Cook and junior second baseman Isaac Ton each scored one run.
The Minutemen opened the season with consecutive wins over visiting Riverside Hillcrest during a doubleheader on Feb. 12. The back end of the doubleheader lasted only five innings as Maranatha won via the mercy rule, 11-1, but Zdunek still managed to collect three hits, all doubles, with three runs and two RBI in four at-bats. Cook tallied an RBI double and a run scored while adding two walks in his other plate appearances. Meanwhile, Andrews also registered an RBI base hit with a walk and a run scored. Ton and senior shortstop Angelo Aleman each recorded one hit, while the latter scored two runs. Senior second baseman Bryan Richman, senior pitcher Jason Tricarico, senior designated hitter Donovan Gonsal and junior third baseman Adrian Lopez each scored a run.
Maranatha collected a 5-2 tournament-opening victory over visiting Hillcrest to kick off a doubleheader on Feb. 12, as senior starting pitcher Mikey Ebner allowed two runs on three hits with five strikeouts and no walks to earn a win. He was incredibly efficient, throwing 40 of his 53 pitches for strikes to complete five innings. His only blemish came in the second inning, but the Minutemen’s bats woke up in the bottom half to retake the lead. Lopez had a fine day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Zdunek and Aleman each had one hit and one RBI. Ton finished 2-for-2 with a run scored, while Cook went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Richman made his lone at-bat count as he registered a base hit.
The bullpen was lights out to finish the game. Junior pitcher Daniel Ruiz tossed 1.1. innings with one strikeout and two walks, while senior pitcher Jack Stipa recorded the final two outs, including one strikeout.
Maranatha (3-1 overall record) is scheduled to visit Santa Ana Mater Dei for a nonleague game on Wednesday, March 2, at 6:30 p.m.
The Wolves opened the season by winning four of its first five nonleague games, including a recent 6-0 shutout at Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary on Saturday.
Flintridge Prep previously dropped its first game of the season after falling at Temecula Great Oak, 19-1, over five innings due to mercy rule on Wednesday, Feb. 16. Senior outfielder had an excellent day at the plate, going 3-for-3, including a double and an RBI. Senior shortstop Nicholas Gonzalez and senior catcher Diego Ynzunza finished with two and one hits, respectively.
The Wolves won their third game in as many days after edging visiting Lancaster Desert Christian, 3-2, as senior starter Spencer Seid pitched five shutout innings with 14 strikeouts. He allowed three hits and no walks but recorded a no-decision. Gonzalez finished the afternoon 1-for-3 with a triple and two RBI while senior outfielder Josh Beserra went hitless but tallied a crucial RBI. Senior first baseman Nathan Park went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Flintridge Prep won the back end of a doubleheader over visiting Lynwood Firebaugh, 13-5. Junior outfielder John Kully tallied a triple in two at-bats with four RBI and a run scored, while freshman second baseman Will Koh finished 2-for-2 with a double, three RBI and a run scored. Beserra notched two hits and two RBI, while Seid and Gonzalez each collected two hits and one RBI. Junior second baseman Joey Andrews tallied a hit and a run scored, while senior catcher Diego Ynzunza, junior outfielder Evan Yoon and freshman infielder Calvin Chen each scored once.
Flintridge Prep dominated in its Opening Day, defeating visiting Firebaugh, 10-2, on Feb. 12 as four Wolves registered multi-hit performances behind solid pitching.
Beserra was masterful on the mound, striking out 11 batters over five innings while allowing two unearned runs to notch a win. He helped himself at the plate, finishing 3-for-5, including two doubles, two RBI and a run scored. Junior utility Graham DesHotel went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI, Park was 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Seid collected a double, two singles and two runs scored. DesHotel also pitched the final two innings allowing one hit and one strikeout to earn the save.
The Wolves (4-1 overall) are scheduled to host Polytechnic in a Prep League game on Friday, Feb. 25, at 3:15 p.m.
The Golden Knights snapped their three-game losing streak and picked up their first win of the season after defeating visiting Reseda Cleveland, 8-6, in an Easton Tournament game on Saturday.
Sophomore infielder Brody Ruyle went 2-for-4 with two RBI, while senior outfielder Diego Robles tallied a base hit, two stolen bases and a run scored. Senior catcher Quinn Deitch was 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored, and sophomore second baseman posted two doubles and two runs scored in four at-bats. Senior outfielder Luke Fogarty and freshman infielder Jordan Lewallen each had a hit and an RBI, while the former tacked on a stolen base. Senior outfielder Simon Lee had two hits, and senior left-handed pitcher Aaron Petersen registered an RBI in three plate appearances.
St. Francis was edged at Burroughs High of Burbank, 3-2, in extra innings last Thursday.
It was a tough day at the plate for the Golden Knights, who left seven runners on base and batted .133 as a team. Sophomore middle infielder Holden Deitch was a bright spot after finishing 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base. Meanwhile, Fogarty had one hit and one stolen base, while Robles tallied a single. Senior outfielders Matthew Munoz and Alejandro Ramirez each scored one run. Despite the no-decision, senior right-handed pitcher Robbie Rivera tossed five innings with eight strikeouts, four hits, one earned run and one walk.
St. Francis lost at Chatsworth, 5-3, in tournament play on Feb. 15, after a deciding four-run sixth inning ruined the Golden Knights’ aspirations for their first win of the season. Deitch and Lee each registered two hits, senior second baseman Miles Leyva had a base hit and an RBI, and Ruyle finished with one hit. Petersen pitched 4.2 innings with seven strikeouts but allowed two unearned runs, four walks and two hits.
St. Francis dropped its season opener after being shut out by visiting Newbury Park, 1-0, on Feb. 12. Fogarty pitched five innings with seven strikeouts and four hits despite receiving a loss. His lone blemish came in the second inning when Newbury Park scored its only run. Leyva, Ruyle, Lewallen, Lee and sophomore outfielder John Calmette each recorded one hit.
The Golden Knights (1-3 overall) are scheduled to open Mission League action by hosting West Hills Chaminade on Tuesday, March 1, at 3:30 p.m.
The Lancers recently dropped two of their three games at the Pizza Chalet Tournament, which started on Feb. 12. Most recently, La Salle was edged by host Walnut, 4-3, on Saturday, Feb. 19.
Previously, the Lancers lost at Covina, 8-5, last Wednesday. First-year head coach Andy Nieto and La Salle registered a season-opening victory after defeating host Diamond Bar, 9-2, on Saturday, Feb. 12. No individual statistics were reported to the Outlook.
The Lancers (1-2 overall) are scheduled to visit La Cañada for a nonleague game on Tuesday, March 1, at 6 p.m.
The Panthers traveled to San Marino for their nonleague season opener on Tuesday, Feb. 22; the result was unavailable by the Outlook’s press deadline. Poly is scheduled to visit Flintridge Prep for a Prep League crosstown rivalry game on Friday, Feb. 25.