Baseball: A Division 1 final for the history books
Saturday's Division 1 championship game was extraordinary. It even topped last year's final when Tyler Matzek of Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley hit a home run in the top of the sixth, then twice got out of bases loaded jams to beat Huntington Beach Edison, 1-0.
Santa Ana Mater Dei's 2-0 victory over Dana Point Dana Hills was about perfection and the amazing season Cory Hahn (14-1) had on the mound and at the plate. Hahn, a left-hander who had never pitched in high school until this season, retired all 15- batters he faced and hit a home run in the sixth, his 10th of the season.
Ty Moore finished up the perfect game. It came against a Dana Hills team that never quit, winning five playoff games as a fourth-place team and getting its No. 2 pitcher, Eric Hsieh, to almost match the Mater Dei pitchers.
All I can say is that if Matzek received a $3.9 million signing bonus last year from the Colorado Rockies, Hahn should be the best bargain pick of all in this week's draft. He's a center fielder with speed and power, a magical arm and a love for the game that can't be matched. If someone in professional baseball can't see that, no problem. He'll head off to Arizona State, then college baseball teams will have to deal with him.
Most of all, I'm going to remember the start and finish of this season. I was there for Mater Dei's 17-2 loss to Corona Santiago to open the season. It was an emotional day for Santiago, because pitcher Nick Hurtado threw his first and only pitch before heading off for cancer treatment.
I did not know I was watching the future Division 1 champs. But Coach Burt Call did an unbelievable job finding and developing the players over the three months to build a championship team.
Now it's on to 2011. Can Edison pitcher Henry Owens pull a Matzek-Hahn next season? Will Moore be able to inherit Hahn's role at Mater Dei? Will all the young players at Placentia El Dorado deliver a championship?
-- Eric Sondheimer