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Baseball: Defense is key to victory in City Section semifinals

June 1, 2011 |  8:30 am

There will be a City Section Division I semifinal doubleheader Wednesday at USC, with Chatsworth taking on Birmingham at 3 p.m. and El Camino Real facing San Fernando at 6 p.m. At the end, all I need to do is check for errors to see which two teams emerge victorious.

Making the routine plays and even some tough ones will be key. There were defensive breakdowns on Tuesday in the Southern Section semifinals.

Chatsworth has won eight City titles under Coach Tom Meusborn using the simple strategy of waiting for the other team to crack. Birmingham has to try to stay close to the Chancellors early in the game and see if Chatsworth is going to crack.

San Fernando has to come through defensively against El Camino Real ace Jose Cardona. The big question is whether San Fernando will use No. 2 pitcher Jose Reyes or ace David Lira. And Coach Armando Gomez has decided it will be Lira, knowing he can't get to Dodger Stadium without using his best.

From a pure fan's perspective, there's lots of people pulling for a Chatsworth-San Fernando final because that could match Lira against his former teammates at some point. Lira transferred before his junior year to San Fernando and would love to pitch against the Chancellors.

-- Eric Sondheimer