Baseball handles Chaminade, wraps up playoff spot

Behind a dominant pitching performance from ace Cameron Deere ’16 and an offensive outburst removing Chaminade’s Tommy Costello ’16 from the game early, the varsity baseball team got a key 4-1 league win over the Eagles (11-16 overall, 3-8 in Mission League play) on the team’s Senior Night on Tuesday.

After a scoreless first inning for both teams, the Eagles surprisingly jumped on Deere in the top of the second. Three batters reached base in the frame, culminating in a Victor Oppenheimer ’15 single driving in Costello to take a 1-0 lead for Chaminade.

However, Deere settled down soon after, and the Wolverines broke the game open on offense.

University of Washington commit Costello struggled with control in the bottom of the second, and the Harvard-Westlake offense took advantage by immediately taking the lead back. With the bases loaded, No. 9 hitter Paul Giacomazzi ’16 connected on a huge two-run double to left-center field, helping the Wolverines’ take a 2-1 lead after two innings.

After the first two batters of the third inning for Harvard-Westlake reached base in Deere and Jake Suddleson ’15, the Eagles were forced to remove their ace after only 2+ innings pitched, and the Wolverines built on the lead further from there. With Aidan Dolan ’16 inheriting Costello’s baserunners in the third, Jackson Grayson ’15 came up with an RBI groundout before Chase Aldridge ’15 drove in another run with a single to stretch the lead to three runs — more than enough for Deere to take care of business.

The junior, sporting an impressive 1.56 ERA in his first season as a starter, completely handled the Eagles’ offense the remainder of the way, overpowering Chaminade’s lineup while not even letting any runners get into scoring position. Even as Chaminade’s bullpen limited Harvard-Westlake from scoring, Deere went the distance for the Wolverines, finishing the game with nine strikeouts and only four hits allowed. Deere’s record improved to 7-1 with the fine complete game performance, helping Harvard-Westlake officially clinch a playoff spot.

Harvard-Westlake moves to 22-4 overall and 7-4 in league play with the win, now in a tie for 3rd place in the Mission League with rival Loyola. Because the top four teams in a seven-team league are assured of playoff spots in the CIF-SS Division I bracket, the Wolverines are set regardless of the result of their next game. Harvard-Westlake next faces off against the Eagles in the second game of their series at Chaminade on Thursday afternoon. If Harvard-Westlake wins and Loyola tops Alemany on Wednesday, the Wolverines would reach second place in the league; if the Wolverines fall to the Eagles and/or Alemany defeats Loyola, Harvard-Westlake can finish in third or fourth place.

Tuesday’s game was live-streamed by HWTV, and those who want to re-watch it can see it here:

http://livestream.com/HWTVSchool/events/3999989

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