With the spring significant university athletics season canceled, prep columnist Eric Sondheimer is searching back again on some of the most memorable championship online games in Southern California historical past.
On the final day of Could in 2013, Matt LaCour was at Dodger Stadium. His Harvard-Westlake baseball group was about to confront Marina for the Southern Part Division 1 championship. His starting pitcher, Jack Flaherty, was strolling in from the bullpen following warming up.
“The glimpse in his eyes was, ‘They’re not getting something tonight,’” LaCour said.
Flaherty place the remaining exclamation point on a junior year to recall, hanging out 8, walking 1 and giving up 6 hits in a 1- victory. He also drove in the game’s only operate.
“His total junior yr he was lights out,” LaCour reported of the correct-hander who went 13- with an .63 Era. “He had been dominant for a very long time. I was assured likely in they weren’t going to get a great deal of operates.”
There have been also two significant selections produced in the match that led to Harvard-Westlake’s to start with and only Division 1 baseball title. No. 1 was how the Wolverines would deal with Marina’s standout ability hitter, Jake Bauers, who came in with 10 property operates.
“We weren’t likely to permit Jake Bauers conquer us,” LaCour mentioned. “Jake was kind of a phenom.”
Even much more significant was the choice to place sophomore Jackson Grayson into the recreation in remaining industry as a defensive alternative in the seventh inning. Grayson experienced been coming in a lot of the time to engage in protection and the timing could not have been more great, because it was his throw soon after a solitary with a person out that allowed catcher Arden Pabst to location the tag on the runner making an attempt to score from 2nd for the 2nd out of the inning.
“When they hit the ball to him, he was unquestionably our best outfield arm even however he was participating in left subject,” LaCour stated. “There was probably an, ‘Oh, four-letter word’ in there somewhere, but the moment I observed the throw occur out of his hand and we had Arden guiding the plate, there was no way Arden was likely to allow him cross the plate.”
Flaherty gave up yet another one but a fielder’s option resulted in the closing out. “We did not want any extra likelihood,” LaCour reported. “Jack was heading to shut the door.”
It wouldn’t be the past time Flaherty pitched at Dodger Stadium. He became a initial-spherical draft decision of the St. Louis Cardinals and has turn into just one of the most effective suitable-handers in pro baseball. Each individual time he comes to pitch at Dodger Stadium, he looks to excel.
“I assume deep down Jack likes performing in front of men and women,” LaCour said. “Performing in front of family and good friends, he relishes it.”
A calendar year later on, LaCour would retire from coaching to become athletic director, so Flaherty served force LaCour to the sideline.
“If we really don’t earn that game, I most likely maintain likely,” he explained. “Jack place just one of the remaining nails in the coffin.”