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Baseball: L.A. Cathedral sweeps Gardena Serra

L.A. Cathedral Coach Scott Pearson decided before Friday's Camino Real League first-place showdown with Gardena Serra that he would not let Serra's junior catcher, Dominic Smith, a USC commit, beat his team.

So he ordered Smith walked intentionally four times, including the first inning when there were no runners on base.

"We Bonds-ed him today," Pearson said, referring to former major leaguer Barry Bonds. "We were going to put him on no matter the situation.... We can't let him beat us."

The strategy was effective, and Cathedral (17-5, 10-1) came away with a 10-7 victory over Serra, completing a two-game sweep and enabling the Phantoms to take over first place in league. Serra is 14-4 and 9-2. Serra came into the week ranked No. 1 in Division 5.

Serra players made five errors, walked six batters and hit three other batters. The Cavaliers fell behind, 10-2, going into the seventh. Sophomore Alan Trejo limited Serra to three hits in six innings, striking out six.

Not until the seventh, when Serra scored five runs, did the Cavaliers finally get untracked. But freshman relief pitcher Bryan Duenas was able to strike out Denzil Chapman with the bases loaded to end the game.

Chris Flores had three hits for Cathedral. Willie Aguilar had a two-run single.

-- Eric Sondheimer

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