Baseball: Mater Dei scores two runs in ninth inning to pull out victory [Video]
Santa Ana Mater Dei, ranked No. 1 in Southern California and No. 1 in the nation in high school baseball, faced a severe challenge on Friday night from UCLA-bound junior pitcher Griffin Canning of Santa Margarita.
For eight innings, the Monarchs couldn’t score against Canning. And when Santa Margarita pushed across a run in the top of the ninth on an errant throw off a bunt to take a 1-0 lead, Mater Dei seemed in big trouble.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Monarchs got a leadoff single by Jeremy Martinez. He made it to third with two outs. Canning was one strike away from victory. The count went to 1-and-2 on Brian Soper. On Canning’s 111th pitch, Soper got an RBI single to right field to tie the game.
Out went Canning and in came Bill Heisler. Soper stole second. Then Davis Tominaga gave Mater Dei a 2-1 victory when he reached first on a high throw and Soper was able to race home from second and beat the throw at the plate with a perfect slide.
It was Mater Dei’s 19th consecutive victory since a 1-0 season-opening loss to Stockton St. Mary’s. Mater Dei improved to 9-0 in the Trinity League.
Canning struck out eight, walked none and allowed seven hits. But Mater Dei pitchers were able to match Canning.
Left-hander Jacob Erickson threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings, which means in 24 1/3 innings as a starting pitcher, he has allowed zero runs. Aaron Cross pitched the final 3 2/3 innings for the victory, improving to 7-0.
Ryan Fitzpatrick had three hits and three RBIs in JSerra's 8-4 win over St. John Bosco.
-- Eric Sondheimer