Caught up with Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.) head coach Eric Borba today about their participation in the Palm Springs Winter Classic. The 32-team event is being played at eight facilities in the Palm Springs area Friday thru Sunday.
OLu is 2-0 heading into tonight’s game against LaSalle(Pasadena, Calif.) after beating Santiago(Corona, Calif.) 1-0 last night and GreatOak (Temecula, Calif.) 3-1 earlier today.
“There wasn’t much offense last night against Santiago,” said Borba. “We’ve faced some good pitching so far.”
Junior P Leo Hernandez went five innings striking out six and giving up only two hits. “He did some good things for us,” said Borba. “He got out of some jams showing some composure.”
Senior Brad Rinehart had the game-winning hit in the bottom of the sixth when he laced a two-out double scoring the winning run from first.
Freshman RHP Cole Spear and Junior RHP Lance Simpson each threw one inning of relief to close out the win.
Game two saw Great Oak trot out junior RHP BradWegman a USC commit, while OLu countered with junior Garret King, a Nebraska commit. The two battled on the mound matching each other pitch-for-pitch.
“They were both perfect through four,” said Borba. “It was a piece of work seeing those two go at each other.”
King used a combination of pitches to keep Great Oak off balance while featuring his change and cutter. Wegman used primarily fastball and curve to get his work done.
“They were both dealing; they were in mid-season form,” said Borba.
Great Oak took a 1-0 lead in the fifth on a throwing error by OLu shortstop and UCLAcommit, Josh Morgan, who would have a couple of opportunities to make up for that throw later.
OLu responded in the bottom of the sixth when freshman Grant Horwitz laced his second single in the game to lead things off. Junior OF Joey Sanchez executed a perfect slash bunt for a base hit. Long Beach State signee Jason Martin reached on an infield hit to load the bases.
After a force out, Morgan delivered a 2 RBI base hit to give OLu a 2-1 lead.
Senior Dalton Frize, a St. Mary’s signee, added an RBI single.
King started the 7th inning and got into a jam as three of the first four hitters he faced reached base. Morgan came in and got a couple of popups to close the game out on three pitches.
Orange Lutheran advances to the championship round of the event with a win overLaSalle.
Withthe potential of playing three games tomorrow, pitching depth can become a concern for these teams.
“Let’s just get there first,” said Borba.
Sounds like he’s been there before.
OLu beat LaSalle and advances to the championship bracket of the event. They will potentially play 3 games tomorrow, assuming they win the first one.