Los Angeles Times

Testing brotherly love with a bat and a glove

- ERIC SONDHEIMER ON HIGH SCHOOLS

On a cloudless Tuesday afternoon in South Orange County, the Schrier family was involved in real sports drama. If only everyone were wired for sound ...

Alex Schrier, a senior pitcher at Santa Margarita, was on the mound. At the plate was brother Cody, a sophomore second baseman at San Juan Capistrano JSerra.

The oldest brother in the family, Jake, who is a student at Pepperdine, texted their father, Eric, with what turned out to be a Nostradamu­s prediction: “I wish I could see Alex strike out Cody.”

Twin 12-year-old sisters, Riley and Ashley, wouldn’t reveal who they were supporting, but their father said, “They’re probably supporting Alex. He’s older.”

The mom, Bridee, showed up to the game not wearing a spec of red or blue. She dressed in black to be neutral. “It’s such a huge conflict,” she said.

When Alex unleashed a 92-mph fastball for a strike against Cody, who was leading off in the first inning, Eric, the public-address announcer, giggled after looking at his radar device. “Why doesn’t he do that all the time?” he said.

Alex went to a 3-and-2 count before firing a high fastball that got Cody to swing and miss. Alex stared toward the JSerra dugout in his best “Game of Thrones” character impression.

Big brother won Round 1, but by game’s end, Cody and his JSerra teammates were the ones in a gleeful mood. The Lions got back-to-back home runs from Michael Curialle and Blake Klassen in the second inning en route to an 11-3 victory that kept JSerra in contention for a Southern Section Division 1 playoff berth. The teams combined for seven errors and 13 walks.

Alex, hurt by poor fielding and JSerra’s powerful hitters, lasted just three innings. Cody had a sacrifice fly in the second inning and in his final at-bat against big brother delivered an RBI single in the third before barking “Let’s go!” while standing at first.

The brothers had been laughing at dinner the night before. Alex is headed to UC Santa Barbara. Cody is committed to USC. Last season, Cody doubled, walked and struck out. They won’t face off again in high school.

Santa Margarita (20-9, 8-5) hopes it’s headed to the Division 2 playoffs and needs one more win to take second place in the Trinity League.

JSerra (16-12, 7-6) is headed to the Division 1 playoffs if it can finish in third place.

The teams meet twice more this week.

The only thing certain is that Orange Lutheran has won the league title. Anaheim Servite (6-7) is still in the playoff hunt.

Afterward, Alex got a hug from mom and sister Riley. “It was fun,” he said. “It was super fun,” Cody said.

No more Schrier brother showdowns ... for now. Maybe in college or the big leagues.

 ?? Photograph­s by Mark Boster For the Times ?? ALEX SCHRIER, left, of Santa Margarita, pitched against younger brother Cody of JSerra for the last time in high school in JSerra’s 11-3 Trinity League victory.
Photograph­s by Mark Boster For the Times ALEX SCHRIER, left, of Santa Margarita, pitched against younger brother Cody of JSerra for the last time in high school in JSerra’s 11-3 Trinity League victory.
 ??  ?? ALEX struck out Cody in the first inning, then gave up a sacrifice fly and an RBI single against him.
ALEX struck out Cody in the first inning, then gave up a sacrifice fly and an RBI single against him.

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