The incredibly loaded CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs get a jump-start on the rest of the sections in the state with the first round starting Thursday. Teams in it include state No. 1 Orange Lutheran, No. 3 Cypress, No. 4 Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks (moving up from seventh this week), No. 5 Harvard-Westlake (dropping down from No. 2) and No. 6 La Mirada. Orange Lutheran head coach Eric Borba also may like seeing the school that is now right behind his team in this week’s rankings.
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(Previous ranking listed in parentheses)
(Through reported results of Saturday, April 27)
(Results from any games played on Monday, April 29 or later not included)
(Thanks to correspondents Chuck Nan for Orange County, Daniel Poulter for Northern California & Bill Hutton for CIF Central Coast Section for providing writeups & information)
1. (1) Lutheran (Orange) 25-4
Heading into the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs, the Lancers are the No. 1 seed and will try to add that major championship to their National High School Invitational title. If they do, they’ll be State Team of the Year as well for the first time in school history. In game one of a three-game set last week, Orange Lutheran unleashed its offense to defeat Mater Dei 6-0. Jasiah Dixon remained hot as he tripled, singled and drove in two runs. Pitcher Jonathan Guzman held the Monarchs hitless for first four innings and then gave way to three other OLu pitchers to preserve the shutout. The Lancers duplicated the output in game two, celebrating senior night and prevailing, 6-0. OLu utilized five pitchers in the win and allowed just two hits. Garrett Frechette drove in two runs for the Lancers in the fifth inning. On Thursday night, the Lancers made it a sweep as four OLu pitchers combined in the 4-2 winning effort. Blake Janowicz earned the win. It was a night of deuces. Dixon was 2-for-2 with a double, two steals and two RBI. Nathan Blocher was 2-for-2 with a double. The team hosts San Clemente in its first-round game on Thursday.