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Baseball: Mater Dei leaves North Carolina with a championship

March 31, 2012 |  3:38 pm

It's too bad the championship game of the National High School Invitational in Cary, N.C., couldn't have been played in Southern California, because the two local teams, Santa Ana Mater Dei and Studio City Harvard-Westlake, produced plenty of drama and excitement.

In the end, Ryan Barr of Mater Dei won it with a bases loaded single in the bottom of the eighth inning to score Ty Moore for a 3-2 victory. Davis Tominaga had tied the game with a home run in the bottom of the seventh. Ryan McMahon also homered for the Monarchs (11-3). Ty Moore threw the final four innings in relief.

Both schools came out of the tournament feeling good and looking like real title contenders for their respective divisions.

Mater Dei got its bats rolling and found much-needed pitching depth that will make it a threat in Southern Section Division 1 and in the Trinity League.

Harvard-Westlake (13-3-1), one of the favorites in Division 2, received unexpected pitching help from Brandon Deere (he threw seven innings Saturay) and Hans Hansen, which should help Max Fried and Jack Flaherty while waiting to see if Lucas Giolito makes it back before the season ends. The Wolverines also played solid defense in pressure situations and responded well.

-- Eric Sondheimer