Wolverines advance to Division I Championship


Jesse Bergin ’18 begins his motion towards home plate during the fifth inning. Credit: Bennett Gross ’16/Chronicle

Bennett Gross

Coming into their semifinal matchup against the number one seeded JSerra Lions, not many expected the Wolverines to come away with the win. However, behind ace Jesse Bergin ’18, Harvard-Westlake stunned the prep baseball world, advancing with a 2-0 win to the CIF-SS Division I Championship game.

“We knew this would be a tough game, and we prepared really well, all I was thinking the entire time was not to get too comfortable,” Bergin said. “The defense picked me up out there. We just did what we have been doing the entire season which was taking it game-by-game.”

JSerra combatted Bergin with their own star pitcher in Colin Quinn ’16 who had won each of his 12 starts this season.

Despite the Lions getting runners into scoring position in the second, third, fourth and sixth, Bergin stranded all of them.

The Wolverines scored their two runs in the fourth inning, which started with Cameron Deere ’16 reaching on a bloop single to right field. The next batter was Leo Kaplan ’16, who drove in Deere on a triple off the base of the wall in left field. After a Loren Franck ’18 strikeout, Casey Slattery ’17 plated Kaplan on a grounder past the second baseman.

“We knew we were facing a guy who makes his money on getting hitters to swing at bad pitches, and our approach today was to only swing at good pitches that we wanted to hit.” Kaplan said. “I got a fastball up in the zone, and I put a good swing on it.”

Throughout the night, the defense complemented Bergin’s four-hit complete-game shutout, most notably with a diving grab by right fielder Paul Giacomazzi ’16 for the second out of the seventh inning.

“Off the bat, I was thinking that I had no chance, it was definitely a single,” Giacomazzi said. “As the game progressed, we knew that the ball was staying up in the air for a little bit, so I just got a good jump and I laid out and made the grab.”

Deere finished the night 3-3 and Slattery ended the game 2-3 with an RBI.

The Wolverines will look to cap their season off with a win in the CIF-SS Division I Championship game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against Murrieta Mesa at San Manuel Stadium