Baseball: Bishop Amat blows away Esperanza 12-1 to win the National Classic for the third time

By Fred J. Robledo
This could be a sign of things to come.
Bishop Amat ended its long drought in Orange County’s prestigious Hard 9 National Classic, avenging one of its only two losses with an easy 12-1 victory over Esperanza in the championship Thursday night at Cal State Fullerton.
Bishop Amat’s Adam Alcantara hit a towering two-run home run in the fourth and the Lancers used their steady duo of pitchers to get the job done again, ace lefty Daniel Zamora starting and striking out five in three innings before giving way to junior Rio Ruiz, who made quite an impression in only his third career appearance.
All Ruiz did was strike out the side in the fourth with fastballs clocked at 92 MPH, and pitch four shutout innings, allowing one hit with seven strikeouts.
Jay Anderson had a triple, double and three RBIs, Ryan Serrato collected three hits, Wallace Gonzalez was named the tournament MVP and the Lancers broke it open with five runs in the fifth inning to cruise to the championship. (To continue click thread)

Esperanza 010-000-0 — 1-3-4
Bishop Amat 300-232-X — 12-12-2
Daniel Zamora, (4) Rio Ruiz and Bernardo Zavala; Blake Mitchell, (3) Brett Pinkham (4), Matt Ripley (5), Chris Conners (6) and Brandon Morones. HR– Adam Alcantara, 3B – Jay Anderson
Records: Bishop Amat 20-2; Esperanza 14-8

More on the Lancers: The L.A. Times’ Eric Sondheimer has video of Rio Ruiz pitching, and wrote glowingly about his 92 MPH fastball, writing, “Bishop Amat has been reluctant to use him on the mound, fearing its defense would be weakened without him at third base or his control might not be good. But if he pitches like he did, there could be a 10-year-old playing third base because all he’ll be doing is watching strikeouts.

It was Amat’s third National Classic tournament title, but first since winning back-to-back titles in 2001 and ’02.
Amat, ranked No. 1 in Division 4, would love to follow up how the
previous two did.
When Amat won two straight National Classic titles earlier this decade, the Lancers followed with back-to-back divisional and mythical national titles.
Although Amat came in to the tournament without a national ranking, they surely have the attention of pollsters with a winning streak that extended to 20, and a win over the last team to defeat them, which was Esperanza (14-8), which won 7-5 back on March 5.
Amat’s road to the title game was impressive.
After opening with a 1-0 win over Cypress, the top-ranked team in
Division 2, the Lancers turned heads nationally with an 11-3 blowout over St
Francis of Mountain View, ranked No. 1 nationally by Baseball America.
The Lancers continued with their solid pitching in the semifinals,
knocking off back-to-back San Diego section champion El Capitan of Lakeside, 2-1, to earn the rematch against Esperanza.
“We got a brief taste of it last year when we got to No. 2 (in the
national polls),” Nieto said. “It’s a tough thing to grasp, especially for kids. It showed with St. Francis, it was nice to play someone who had a bigger bullseye than us.
“It’s crazy to know who votes and what the formula is (for being nationally ranked) but when you play in these nationally recognized tournaments, that’s one of the only ways to get on the map, and once you get on the map, you have to stay on the map.”
Esperanza helpled stake Amat to a 3-0 lead in the first.
AFter Brandon Castaneda reached on a one-out error that was booted by
Aztecs second baseman Mitch Mosman, Ruiz singled up the middle to put runners on the corners.
Bernardo Zavala steered a single to right, scoring Castaneda for a 1-0 lead. The Aztecs’ defensive struggles continued, Ryan Serrato hitting a routine grounder that got past Mosman again for an error, allowing Ruiz to score. Jay Anderson gave them a 3-0 lead when his ground out to first scored Zavala.
Mosman helped get one back, driving home Ryan Aguilar with a two-out
single to right in the second inning, trimming the Lancers’ lead to 3-1.
Alcantara’s two-run homer in the fourth made it 5-1 and Anderson tripled home two more runs in the fifth to stretch it to 7-1.

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  • GoodLuck

    Wishing you a great night, Lancers! Good Luck!!

  • Tommy Lasorda

    Good luck boys!

  • Amat Alumni and Parent

    Amat also has a game on Saturday vs. Camarillo in the Redando Tournament. Very busy last couple of weeks for the Lancers.

    Last year Amat was in position for that mythical National Championship before losing to St. Paul in the game of the regular season then eventually bowing out in the quarterfinals.

    This team does have a different feel though. Although they don’t have that dominant heat throwing pitcher, they do have a deep staff that can pitch. Berg has been absolutely phenomenal coming out of the bullpen and the starters have been equally impressive.

    Does coach of the year have to go to the head coach? Nothing against Nieto, but Beck has been great with this pitching staff and it was this so called “weakness” that has carried this team to the top of the rankings.

    Keep it up boys and just keep it to one game at a time.

  • LancerVille

    Amat Alumni and Parent
    You are correct; it has been a busy few weeks for the boys but the preparation will be important when we face Bonita and hopefully CIF playoffs. I have noticed that difference you feel, and my personal opinion it is the camaraderie between the players, and even the parents too. This is a big factor I believe in their success. Mr. Beck has done a great job with the pitching staff, but I also believe what we are seeing is the talent emerging that was shadowed by the great Paez and McNitt. However this success is a collective contribution from all.
    Ratings are nice, but these days its any ones game to the ones who come to play.
    Good luck tonight! Lets bring one back for the school and the SGV.

  • 12th man

    I would have to agree Berg has pitched exceptionally well coming out of the pen…He is a big reason for BA success perhaps he could make a strong bid for MVP honors!~

  • Concur

    I agree that Coach Beck is the best pitching coach in the SGV. Look at his pitchers’ numbers since he’s been there.

  • get em Blue!!!!




  • Mismatch

    BA is dominating 10-1

  • lets go lancers

    12-1 !!!!

  • Tommy Lasorda

    Amat Wins! Congrats boys! Well deserved! Way to represent the SGV!

  • AmatHS

    12-1 final ! What a fantastic job guys and a suburb job of coaching done by all at Amat. There’s a reason the boys want to attend such a great school and it’s not only for the incredible academics! Good luck on Saturday and then the BIG game against Bonita at Mt. Sac. Work hard, Play hard, Win big!

  • Tommy Lasorda

    Congratulations to Wallace “Shorty” Gonzalez for winning tournament MVP and to all the rest of the boys that made the all tournament team.

  • just sayin’

    wasn’t some idiot popping off about “the transfer” a week or so ago? he won’t show up again

  • AmatHS

    just sayin’ said:
    wasn’t some idiot popping off about “the transfer” a week or so ago? he won’t show up again

    “Just Sayin” you are exactly right, lol. Congrats to Wallace! He definitely deserved the MVP award. Go Amat!

  • jcaz

    Just sayin’

    You are absolutely correct !

  • Aaron

    But will they win their division…or even get to the championship game?

  • 12th man


    National #18 -State #4 – Section #3 Section Division #1…I think Amat got the short end of the stick with the new rankings! They should have gotten somewhere in the top 10 Nationally~

  • AMAT 73

    Congratulations to the Men in Blue on a great tournament. Keep it going and continued success.

    I see you are dodging my question to you just as buulfrog1 dodged the question on his ring. You see Fred moved the thread up on the top 25 maybe to see your answer. In case you forgot here it is again , what have you ever won or been a champion in other than being the biggest jerk on the blog. I see you are drumming up some business for Taconazo , maybe hoping for a big tip night at your second job.

  • AMAT 73

    Why did you stop there . You should have continued with or beat Bonita on Monday . Since you went there , you should have done it right and gone all the way .

  • interview

    Is English offered at Bishop Amat?

  • Rj’s legacy

    2nd Annual RJ’s Legacy High School Classic is this Monday and Tuesday. Monday’s baseball game is 7pm at Mt. Sac featuring Bonita vs. Bishop Amat. Tuesday at 5 will be Santa Margarita vs. Bishop Amat at Citrus College. Please join us for this great cause. There will be food and drinks including Dodger Dogs. There will be prizes drawn during the games including baseball equipment, Dodger Dugout suite tickets, and other gift certificates. Admission will be $5 and that will include your raffle ticket. Please note Mt. Sac parking will be $3 exactly located at the machines in the lots. Proceeds to the game will benefit Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles. Please show up early and remember RJ who touched so many in our community. Please visit Facebook RJ’s Legacy.

  • AMAT 73

    Man it’s getting tough in blogland. Didn’t realize we are now being scrutinized on correct writting and spelling on the blog. But it only goes to show one set of rules for AMAT and one set for all others. If that’s all you have to put a knock on us please continue .

  • RJ Legacy

    Tuesday’s game is girls softball.

  • Just a fan

    Just looked up Bonita’s Maxprep rankings: National- 403
    State- 64
    Section- 35
    Section Div- 4
    Looks like Bonita has a big challenge on Monday. Good luck to both teams on Monday and the rest of the year.

  • Basic

    Just a fan,

    Wondering if that is why Bonita is going with their number 3 on Monday??? Or is that League is much more important???

    Either way, good luck Bearcats!!!

  • Joe Amat


    Yes – league is far more important. After these 4 games vs this kind of competition and a game on Saturday it will be interesting to see how pitching shapes up on Monday.

    Nothing shows the quality of a *team* more than a large number of games in a short span that forces a team to use there roster and reveal their depth.

    Should be fun. Good luck

  • Transformer

    It’s amazing to see and to hear good things about Wallace Gonzalez. I don’t think anyone works out and practices as much as Rio Ruiz. He said that Gonzalez has worked so hard and even called him his brother. Congrats to both of them and the Lancer Baseball Team!

  • Aaron

    Amat 73,

    My friend Don tells me all the time…when Bonita faced San Dimas earlier in the season…getting a win is nice but it doesn’t matter all that much because it is not a league game.

    So winning the National Classic is nice and all…but this is about championships right? Both teams are very solid and I want my Bearcats to win on Monday night, but in the end your boys play in Division IV and mine play in Division III.

  • AMAT 73

    I agree that winning certain games and tourneys is nice but league and CIF are what counts. A simple congratulations on the win ( which I could very easily imagine Don doing ) would seem a better fit then to question whether we will win our division or get to the finals in CIF with no well wishes at all. And that is what your rather smug post was all about wasn’t it ?

  • Aaron

    Nice win.

  • just sayin’

    listen to Aaron. He used to be such a nice boy. We tried to treat him to such hospitality when he and daddy came to Keifer.
    “Nice win. What a smart ass.
    Then it was “but in the end your boys play in Division IV and mine play in Division III.”
    That would be like someone from Amat coming on and saying, “it’s only the Hacienda League” or ” It’s only the Southeast Division”.
    Of course – I guess that is true – isn’t it? The difference is to balance the division/league Amat is in – they step up and play teams like this during non-league that makes there schedule the toughest around from start to finish

  • Aaron

    What…Amat 73 why I just didn’t give the simple congratulations that was and is well deserved after winning the National Classic. So I gave it, and it wasn’t coming out of the side of my mouth, the win was a nice one.

  • Division 4 is stronger than Division 3

    First about Amat,

    Bishop Amat beat the NUMBER 1 team in the United States of America. Since Aaron likes to mention division, here are the National Classic losers (from So. Cal only) and their respective divisions.

    Chatsworth Div 1
    Cypress Div 2
    Esperanza Div 1
    El Dorado Div 1
    Alemany Div 2
    Chaminade Div 2

    Like football, most of the top teams in California are in Div-1 Southern Section. In regards to the lower divisions, once you get past Div 2, there’s no difference from division to division.


    Maxpreps top 10 teams in the Southern Section (SS) and their divisions.

    1 Valencia (Division 1)
    2 Edison (Division 1)
    4 JSerra Catholic (Division 1)
    5 Mater Dei (Division 1)
    6 Hart (Division 1)
    7 Vista Murrieta (Division 1)
    8 Trabuco Hills (Division 1)
    9 Palm Desert (DIVISION 4)
    10 Lakewood Division 1)

    DIVISION FOUR actually has two teams in Maxprep’s SS Top 10 teams (Bishop Amat and Palm Desert).

    Division 3’s top team is Quartz Hill who is ranked #23 in the SS. Division 3’s 2nd ranked team is BONITA, who is ranked 35th in the SS.

    If you take these rankings into consideration along w/ Bishop Amat’s recent victories over some D-1 and D-2 elite programs, it’s easy to see that the more challenging division this year, is Division 4.

  • Division 4

    FYI, don’t get in too deep with AARON, he rarely knows what he’s talking about. Knows alot about a little. =}

  • Amat69

    Now its time to beat a not very good, overrated Bonita team.
    Final score 10 to 1 Amat.

  • Reality is tough

    Amat Fans

    this means Zero unless you get past the Semi’S.. When has that happen in D4?

    If you lose like you have over the last couple of years, who cares about bragging rights..