El Toro wins baseball ti­tle

Jake Jack­son throws a three-hit shutout in a 4-0 vic­tory over Corona at Dodger Sta­dium.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Eric Sond­heimer eric.sond­heimer@la­times.com Twit­ter: @lat­sond­heimer

Af­ter throw­ing a three­hit shutout in the South­ern Sec­tion Di­vi­sion 1 cham­pi­onship game on Fri­day night at Dodger Sta­dium, Jake Jack­son of Lake For­est El Toro looked for some­one to hug. He turned left, he turned right. Catcher Tyler Lasch came charg­ing at him like a line­backer and tack­led him to the ground. So be­gan a dog­pile that fea­tured swan dives to near per­fec­tion.

El Toro’s 4-0 vic­tory over Corona was all about Jack­son re­ceiv­ing early run sup­port and then do­ing what he does best — throw strikes. He struck out five and walked none. Corona never mounted a se­ri­ous threat to score off a pitcher who was 12-1 this sea­son and emerged as the best in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia af­ter play­ing catcher all last sea­son.

Grif­fin Can­ning and Jack Fla­herty were pretty good pitch­ers dur­ing their high school days at Santa Mar­garita and Stu­dio City Har­vard-West­lake, re­spec­tively. Each ended their prep ca­reers with com­plete-game vic­to­ries in cham­pi­onship games at Dodger Sta­dium in 2014 and 2013.

Jack­son equaled their per­for­mances, and we all know where they have gone. Can­ning went to UCLA and will be a first-round draft pick next week. Fla­herty was a first-round pick of the St. Louis Car­di­nals. Jack­son signed with Ne­vada.

“It’s in­de­scrib­able,” Jack­son said. “That was amaz­ing. That was the best time of my life. I love com­pet­ing with these guys.”

Jack­son’s team­mates gave him a com­fort­able cush­ion. Josh Zamora had an RBI dou­ble and Lasch added an RBI sin­gle in the first in­ning. Erik Tol­man contributed an RBI sin­gle and Zamora had an RBI sac­ri­fice fly in the sec­ond. Corona starter Michael Hobbs threw 41 pitches in the first in­ning and was pulled by the sec­ond in­ning.

El Toro’s pitch­ing depth, strong de­fense and devel­op­ment of Zamora, Lasch and Tol­man as clutch hit­ters helped the Charg­ers win their first ti­tle since 2008, when Colorado Rockes All Star third base­man Nolan Are­nado was on the team. Are­nado sent a video mes­sage to the play­ers be­fore the game, telling them to “have fun.”

In the Di­vi­sion 2 cham­pi­onship game at Dodger Sta­dium, Eti­wanda re­lied on the de­fen­sive wizardry of the Freeman broth­ers, Tyler and Cody, to se­cure a 2-1 vic­tory over Palm Desert.

Tyler, a se­nior short­stop headed to Texas Chris­tian, had a run­ning catch and sev­eral as­sists. Cody, a sopho­more sec­ond base­man who’s com­mit­ted to Bay­lor and will take over as the short­stop next sea­son, started a huge dou­ble play in the third in­ning and had four as­sists.

“They’re spe­cial,” Coach Don Fur­nald said. “Their bond and how they play on de­fense is amaz­ing.”

Said Tyler: “It means ev­ery­thing. Hon­estly, this could be my last game with him. It’s God’s plan. Win­ning a cham­pi­onship with him is awe­some. You can’t have it any bet­ter.”

Eti­wanda (27-3) won its 13th con­sec­u­tive game. The Ea­gles came into the playoffs known for their hit­ting, but it was pitch­ing that de­liv­ered a ti­tle. Ju­nior Tyler Bar­dow­ell came in from the bullpen with two outs and run­ners on sec­ond and third in the bot­tom of the fourth and got a strike­out on three pitches. He ended up throw­ing one-hit ball over the fi­nal 31⁄3 in­nings.

Much credit also goes to catcher Chris Jimenez, who called ev­ery pitch for Eti­wanda pitch­ers this sea­son. Watch out for the Ea­gles next sea­son with Bar­dow­ell, sopho­more pitcher Mar­cus John­son and Cody Freeman all re­turn­ing.

In the Di­vi­sion 7 game in River­side, Ar­row­head Chris­tian de­feated Canoga Park Faith Bap­tist, 14-2. Josh Fer­reri had two hits and three RBIs.

In Di­vi­sion 7 soft­ball in Irvine, Sun Val­ley Vil­lage Chris­tian de­feated Santa Ynez, 7-4. Fresh­men Ally Mel­gar and Macken­zie Hoff­man each hit two-run home runs.

Pho­to­graphs by Wally Skalij Los An­ge­les Times

PALM DESERT start­ing pitcher Jeremiah Estrada gets tan­gled up with catcher An­thony Boetto as they reach for a foul ball in their game against Eti­wanda in their Di­vi­sion 2 ti­tle game at Dodger Sta­dium.

EL TORO play­ers chan­nel their in­ner divers as they cel­e­brate a cham­pi­onship at Dodger Sta­dium. The Charg­ers won their first Di­vi­sion 1 ti­tle in nine years.

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