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 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:

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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.

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For more on Lions Baseball click here.

Baseball America Rankings, click here.

Ninth Baseball Player Scores Division I College Scholarship

JSerra Catholic High School’s 2009 Trinity League championship team posted outstanding numbers on the field.

Junior Clay Williamson will play at Cal State Fullerton
Junior Clay Williamson will play at Cal State Fullerton

It’s also accomplishing remarkable feats off the field.

The Lions are sending nine scholar-athletes to Division I universities with scholarships. And Coach Brett Kay believes three or four offers may be on the way.

That means starters at every position and a few pitchers will likely end up playing college baseball at the highest level.

“I’m ecstatic,” Kay said. “It affirms everything we’re trying to accomplish here.”

The most recent scholarship winner is junior right fielder Clay Williamson, of Laguna Niguel, who will play at Cal State Fullerton after he graduates.

He hit .280 last year with 18 RBIs and two triples.

“He’s a rare player who made the jump from freshman ball to varsity – a big jump for any player. He’s really grown in the past year and emerged as one of the leaders in our program,” Kay said. “He’s a great player and a great kid.”

Williamson isn’t the only college-committed Lion returning next year. Bret Dahlson (Loyola Marymount), of Yorba Linda, junior Austin Hedges (UCLA), of San Juan Capistrano, and senior Grahamm Wiest (Cal State Fullerton), of Orange, hope to lead the Lions to another title.

Graduates from last year’s squad with scholarships are:

Colton Plaia, of Mission Viejo, Loyola Marymount

Quinn Renner, of Laguna Niguel, St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia

Joe Kurrasch, of San Juan Capistrano, UC Berkeley

Matt Paradise, of San Clemente, Santa Clara University

Todd del Toro, of Mission Viejo, Air Force Academy.