Lions Baseball Play Hard Against Mater Dei

by Steve Fryer, The OC Register

A game this good deserved a dramatic finish. And it got one.

In the bottom of the seventh inning with the score tied, JSerra’s Joey Ponder laid down a two-strike squeeze bunt and pinch-runner Parker Johnson beat the throw to the plate, giving the Lions a 10-9 victory over Mater Dei on Tuesday in a Trinity League baseball game at JSerra High. 

The teams are tied for first place in the Trinity League.

JSerra led by three runs, then trailed by five, in the wild game with the wild conclusion.

The three-game league series between JSerra and Mater Dei is tied at one victory apiece. They play their final league matchup of the season on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Mater Dei.

JSerra, ranked No. 3 in Orange County and No. 5 in CIF-SS Division 1, is 19-3 overall and 8-2 in league. Mater Dei, No. 2 in the county and No. 3 in CIF-SS Division 1, is 17-5, 8-2.

“This one was a must-win, if we want to win league,” JSerra senior Austin Hedges said.

JSerra’s Clay Williamson had two hits and two RBIs, Grant Davis had two hits and three RBIs, Trent Boras had two hits and scored twice, and Joey Ponder drove in two, including the game-winner on the final-play squeeze.

Mater Dei’s Ryan Teel homered twice, one a grand slam and the other a three-run homer, in back-to-back innings. The Monarchs’Ty Moore had three hits and drove in two.

The Lions took a 3-0 lead in the second inning, in which Williamson contributed a two-run single. Teel hit his grand slam in the Monarchs’ five-run fourth inning.

After JSerra scored a run in the bottom of the third to trim the Mater Dei lead to 5-4, Teel’s three-run homer led a four-run fourth inning that pushed the Monarchs’ lead to 9-4.

JSerra got two runs, including a solo homer by Tyler Krause, in the bottom of the fourth to make it 9-6. The Lions, led by Davis’ two-run double, scored three in the eighth to slice the Mater Dei lead to one run.

JSerra’s Nico Darras doubled to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Parker Johnson, running for Darras, advanced to third base on Tanner Bily’s sacrifice bunt before scoring on the Ponder squeeze, with Johnson sliding across the plate just before Mater Dei relief pitcher Ryan Barr’s glove-it-and-shovel-it toss reached catcher Jeremy Martinez.

JSerra rallies to beat El Toro, 5-4, in Lions final

*Currently running in OC Varsity

By Steve Fryer

His coach did not want Clay Williamson to hit the ball up the middle with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. But hit it up the middle Williamson did.

Lions celebrating after their victory over El Toro Photo credit: Carlos Delgado OC Register

The ball skipped past the El Toro pitcher, over second base and into center field.

JSerra’s Trent Boras scored and Austin Hedges followed him across the plate and JSerra started celebrating a 5-4 comeback victory over El Toro in the Anaheim Lions Tournament championship game at Glover Stadium.

For the full article and video click here.

JSerra Baseball Deemed the Team to Beat This Spring

Named number ten on Baseball America’s High School Top 25 list, 5-0 standing, with heavy hitters like UCLA bound Austin Hedges, Trent Boras and Clay Williamson JSerra has been deemed  the team to beat, this Spring. Catch the buzz and all the latest below:

*Currently running on

JSerra's Tyler Krouse (15), Clay Williamson (24) and Trent Boras (7) celebrate after scoring against Palm Desert. photo courtesy by Drew Kelly

There’s nothing quite like the arrival of a brand new baseball season. Everything that accompanies the annual return to the diamond is what makes the sport so unique. A fresh start in league standings, stiff gloves that need breaking in, the sudden acceptance of grown men spitting sunflower seeds in public, the crack of new bats becoming battle-tested (though it’s more of a ping at the high school level) and all the glorious sunshine that comes with it.

For the full story click here.

For more on Lions Baseball click here.

Baseball America Rankings, click here.

Austin Hedges Ranked “Highest rated catcher prospect” in the Country

*Published in the Orange County Register on January 31, 2011

Austin Hedges

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, even in sports:

Check out the latest at

Baseball America’s list of the top 100 high school baseball prospects

For Austin Hedges, Accolades Continue

Senior baseball standout Austin Hedges continues to rack up national
recognition for his accomplishments on the field.

Austin Hedges

The JSerra senior was recently named an AFLAC All-American, one of 38 players across the country to earn the honor, and was also Rawlings Gold Glove winner as best defensive high school player in the country.

His father said he also picked up honors as an All Area Code team member and was picked fourth among the top 10 high school players to watch.

And if that isn’t enough, Baseball America profiled him in June.

“He changes the game so much behind the plate,” JSerra coach Brett Kay.
told the magazine.

To view the article you must subscribe to the magazine.

To view an earlier post about Hedges, click here.

Austin Hedges Featured in Baseball America, chosen for USA roster

JSerra’s stand-out catcher Austin Hedges can add a few new accolades to his resume, including being featured by Baseball America and chosen for a national team trial.

Austin Hedges

He caught the attention of national baseball writers last week at the Perfect Game National Showcase June 17-20 in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he led his team – featuring many of the nation’s best high school ballplayers – to the gold medal.

“He changes the game so much behind the plate,” JSerra baseball coach Brett Kay told the newspaper. “You can throw any pitch you want at any time, whether it’s going to be a dirty pitch or not, whether it’s going to be in the dirt or whatever, there’s a 99.9 percent chance it’s not going to get past him or he’s going to throw someone out by
30 feet. And the pitchers love it. What pitcher wouldn’t love throwing to Austin.”

And yesterday, Hedges was named to the USA 18-under trial roster and the second-team, all-Orange County baseball team.

To view the entire Baseball America article, you must subscribe to the

Two Lions Ballplayers Earn Scholarships and a Third Commits

Two more seniors from JSerra Catholic High School’s baseball team have earned collegiate scholarships – catcher Colton Plaia and shortstop Quinn Renner.

Quinn Renner
Quinn Renner

A third, junior Austin Hedges, verbally committed to UCLA.

Plaia, who hit .382 with two home runs and 20 RBI’s, will play next year at Loyola Marymount.

Renner is headed to St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He hit .375 with one home run and 18 RBI’s.

And Hedges, who hit .383 with two home runs and 16 RBI’s, will play at UCLA at the conclusion of his high school career, Coach Brett Kay said.

Colton Plaia
Colton Plaia

“They are outstanding ballplayers and outstanding young men. I anticipate them having success at the next level,” said Kay, Orange County Register’s Coach of the Year.

The scholar-athletes join four other members of the Lions first Trinity League championship team who will play Division One baseball next year.

They are: pitcher Joe Kurrasch, UC Berkeley; Grahamm Wiest, Cal State Fullerton; Matt Paradise, Santa Clara and Todd del Toro, Air Force Academy.