By C.J. Daft
SAN BERNARDINO >> California High senior ace Daniel Alvarez, with the help of a big two-run triple from freshman Mike Elliott in the sixth, lifted the top-seeded Condors past San Gorgonio 4-1 in the CIF Southern Section Division 4 quarterfinals on Friday.Alvarez outdueled San Gorgonio’s Hazahel Quijuada, who had a no-hitter going through five innings. It was Quijada’s first loss of the season.Alvarez (10-2) gave up one run on six hits with nine strikeouts and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. He also picked off a runner on second in the first inning.“He knows he can’t overthrow the ball, he has to pitch and that makes him special,” California coach Tony Nieto said. “He’s not a thrower, he’s a pitcher.”The Condors (26-5) are heading to the semifinals for the second consecutive year despite graduating 13 seniors from last year’s team, and will host Phelan Serrano on Tuesday. Alvarez was on the mound two years ago when California lost in the first round and last year when it fell to South Torrance in the semifinals. Both losses played heavy on him.
SERRANO 4, SONORA 0
LA HABRA — Sonora High School’s quarterfinal jinx continued Friday.The Raiders can blame Serrano senior R.J. Peace.Peace tossed a three-hit shutout and struck out 11 to lead the Diamondbacks to a 4-0 victory over host Sonora in a CIF-Southern Section Division 4 quarterfinal.It was the Raiders third consecutive loss in a CIF-SS quarterfinal.Austin Taylor also had three RBIs for Serrano, which improved 21-7. The Diamondbacks will travel to California, which beat San Gorgonio, in the semifinals on Tuesday.
Sonora coach Pat Tellers: “It was a tough year for us, even to get the league title, which is our No. 1 goal. This is bonus baseball. We tell these guys that it takes a lot of luck, and sometimes you can’t meet that match. We got to the quarters the third year in a row. We just got to find away to get over this hump.”
Serrano’s R.J. Peace: “I heard (the pre-game chatter). I just had to keep it out of my head and stay composed. I just had to go out there and throw strikes. That’ll shut it up. Once we got the lead, I knew I could just go out there and let them hit and not try to do too much. I had to go out and try to do my thing.”
— Stephen Ramirez
Serrano at California, 3:15 p.m.