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Baseball: Lots of tough championship matchups

May 31, 2012 |  9:04 am

The matchups for Friday's Southern Section championship baseball games at Dodger Stadium will be competitive and unpredictable
The matchups for Friday's Southern Section championship baseball games at Dodger Stadium will be competitive and unpredictable.

Division 1: Corona vs. Newbury Park, 7:30 p.m. The top seeds are long gone, along with the pitchers that excite scouts by throwing 90 mph. But Luke Eubank (10-0) is ready to go for Newbury Park. No one has been able to figure out how to hit him consistently, because he throws strikes and his ball movement is extraordinary at times.

Pat Duarte of Corona has beaten Hunter Virant and Kyle Twomey in his last two outings. Corona has won five consecutive playoff games coming out of the wild-card bracket. If Eubank is on, the Panthers will be tough.

Division 2: Aliso Niguel vs. Garden Grove Pacifica, 4:30 p.m. Pacifica started gaining attention during the National Classic in April and has kept climbing behind pitcher-hitters Kyle Davis and Max Bethell. Aliso Niguel has Brett Barker (8-1) ready to go and scored 16 runs in the semifinals.

Division 3: Alhambra vs. Bonita, 1:30 p.m. Cal State Fullerton signee Justin Garza of Bonita has been one of the best pitchers in Southern California for the last two years. He ends his high school career pitching in the championship game. Alhambra hasn't been to a final since 1927. Sophomore pitcher Marco Briones has been terrific during the playoffs.

On Saturday, the remaining Southern Section finals will be played at UC Riverside.

Div. 7: Granada Hills Hillcrest Christian vs. Firebaugh, 10 a.m.

Div. 5: Paraclete vs. Woodcrest Christian, 1 p.m.

Div. 6: Lancaster Desert Christian vs. Capistrano Valley Christian, 4 p.m.

Div. 4: Palm Desert vs. Temple City, 7:30 p.m.

Palm Desert has USC-bound Brooks Kriske along with the Serven brothers, Brian and Jonathan.

Hillcrest Christian will be playing its final game ever. The school is combining with L.A. Baptist and will be renamed Heritage Christian in the fall. Josh Clark is batting .618.

Paraclete has won 21 consecutive games and has the longest winning streak in Southern California.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Photo: Newbury Park pitcher Luke Eubank pitches during the Southern Section Division 1 baseball semifinal between Mater Dei and Newbury Park at Blair Field in Long Beach on Tuesday. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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