FOUR & MORE: Best 1st Round Games


1. Riverside King at Vista Murrieta — Wolves (17-11) visit Broncos (17-9) in what could be an Inland Area pitching matchup for the ages. Senior RHP Eric Geiger (9-2) takes to the bump for King, the No. 2 team from the Big VIII League. Junior Tyler Russell (10-4) will start for Vista, the No. 2 team from the Southwestern League. It’s just too bad this is a CIF-Southern Section Division 1 First Round game; it deserves bigger billing.

2. La Verne Damien at Redlands East Valley — Spartans (14-10-1) travel to face Wildcats (19-7) in a CIF-SS Division 2 matchup. Damien is a little light on offense (.276 team BA) but boasts a cumulative team ERA of 2.00. REV, currently No. 3 in the Inland Area Prep Baseball Top 10, won a share of the Citrus Belt League title behind the exceptional play of senior SS Frank Alvarez (6-foot-1, 175 pounds), who had a team-high 30 hits from a team the batted .338.

3. San Bernardino San Gorgonio at La Verne Bonita — Spartans (18-9), the No. 3 team from the San Andreas League, won a CIF-SS Division 3 Wild Card Round game, 3-1, over Menifee Heritage on 5/15 to get here. The Bearcats (26-2), ranked No. 4 in this week’s Inland Area Top 10, were finalists at the season-long Corona Centennial HS Tournament, losing the title game in heart-breaking manner, 5-4, to Riverside North on 5/5.

4. Santiago Corona at Temecula Valley — Sharks (18-10-1), won CIF-SS Division 1 Wild Card Round game, 11-2, over San Clemente on 5/15. Team has scads of talent (Chance Cisco, Michael Darr, etc.). Golden Bears (18-6), winners of uber-competitive Southwestern League, are among the most balanced teams in Inland Area.

AND MORE: Lake Arrowhead Rim of the World at Woodcrest Christian — Coach Bob Gradillas and the Fighting Scots (16-10) will bring the fight to Royals (20-3), ranked No. 5 in this week’s Inland Area Top 10, in a CIF-SS Division 5 matchup.

………………….Big Bear at Redlands Arrowhead Christian — Senior C Zakk Planz and the Bears (12-11) come off the mountain to play ACA (20-6), the No. 2 team from the Ambassador League, in a CIF-SS Division 5 game.

………………….Beaumont at Hesperia Oak Hills — Cougars (14-13) beat Desert Hot Springs, 8-1, in CIF-SS Division 5 Wild Card Round game on 5/5, now travel to face the Bulldogs (17-8), Mojave River League champs.


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