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Harvard-Westlake baseball slugs its way past Cypress to grab spot in Division 1 semifinals

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247 News Around The World
247 News Around The World


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ENCINO — The Harvard-Westlake baseball team’s locker room celebration could be heard through the cement walls.

“Intoxicated,” an electronic song that’s a hit with the players, was blasting. Dom, a Northridge Little League player, danced his way to the center of the mob in his role of unofficial hype man.

“Of course it’s a party,” said senior pitcher Christian Becerra. “I think today was a team win. We went down early, offense picked me up. So yeah, big team win. We’re celebrating.”

Cypress (19-11) jumped on the board early, but Harvard-Westlake (26-4) recovered to win Friday’s CIF Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals game, 11-4.

Harvard-Westlake moves on to the semifinals on Tuesday, June 15. It will be at home against Orange Lutheran (29-4), the Trinity League runner-up.

In the second at-bat of the game, the Centurions’ Neil Jansen cracked a two-run home run to score himself and Christian Thompson, who singled to get on base. Abbrie Covarrubias had an RBI single to close out the bottom of the first inning with a 3-0 lead.

“This was a dogfight,” said Harvard-Westlake coach Jared Halpert. “Our message is going to be the same as always. Let’s just take pitch by pitch.”

The Wolverines scored two unearned runs in the second inning, prompting a pitching change for Cypress. The Centurions relieved Matthew Morrell and brought in submarine-style pitcher Zack Ocampos, one of four pitchers who stepped on the mound for the team Friday afternoon.

“Keep a clear head, talk to the boys about pitch tendencies,” said leadoff hitter George Cooper, who went 2 for 4 with a triple. “We were on our game for all of the different pitchers and expecting their different tendencies because of our guys.”

Harvard-Westlake continued the onslaught in the third and fourth innings. Cooper hit an RBI single and Bryce Rainer had a two-run single in the fourth.

The Wolverines tacked on two more runs in the fifth on singles from Toussaint Bythewood and Will Gasparino, and in the sixth inning, Jacob Galloway hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Cooper.

Christian Thompson added one last run for Cypress on an RBI single in the sixth inning.

“This group has made the biggest leaps and bounds of any team I’ve had,” said Centurions coach John Weber. “At the beginning of the year, I hashed out to them with some reminders of some of the things that we had to grind on them about and our work ethic and those kinds of things to where we ended the season was really proud of them.”

This post first appeared on ocregister.com

The post Harvard-Westlake baseball slugs its way past Cypress to grab spot in Division 1 semifinals appeared first on 247 News Around The World.

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