Prep Preview: Harvard-Westlake at North

I’m covering the Studio City Harvard-Westlake v. Riverside North CIF-Southern Section Division 1 1st Round playoff game for The Press-Enterprise/(@PEcom_preps) and the Southern California Newspaper Group (@SoCalNewsGroup).

First pitch is set for 3:15 at J.W. North High School in Riverside (Calif.).

HarvardWestlakeTHE LOW DOWN:
Harvard-Westlake (21-8 overall, 11-7 Mission League) slipped into the postseason as the Mission’s No. 3 team, then defeated Westlake, 6-4, in a wild-card round game on Wednesday. Coach Jared Halpert’s team now has won seven of its last eight, and comes to town senior heavy and with little to lose. The Wolverines roster is deep with 12 upperclassmen, so they’re desperate and willing to pull out every stop to ensure their season doesn’t end today.

NorthLOGONorth (22-7 overall, 13-2 Inland Valley) won 11 of its last 12 games to enter the postseason with a ton of confidence coming from both inside and outside the program. Coach Steve Madril has arguably his most talented roster to date, highlighted by seniors Christian Koss and Shane Martinez. Koss, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound infielder, is hitting .330 with 20 RBIs. Martinez, a 6-2, 190-pound shortstop and pitcher, leads the team with a .411 BA with a 4-0 record and a 0.57 ERA in eight appearances.

THE KEY PLAYERS:
La Mirada
— OF Patrick Albarino, Sr. (6-3, 185); INF Cameron Deere, Sr. (6-foot, 190); P Casey Giolito, Jr. (6-5, 185); INF John Thomas, Sr. (6-1, 185); C/OF Matt Thomas, Jr. (6-4, 190); OF Jake Suddleson, Sr. (6-3, 190)

Riverside North — INF/P Tony Bullard, Soph. (6-foot-4, 170 pounds); C Andrew Jurado, Sr. (5-11, 170); INF Christian Koss, Sr. (6-2, 170); P David Magallanez, Sr. (5-10, 160); INF/P Shane Martinez, Sr. (6-2, 190); OF Cole Pofek, Soph. (6-1, 160)

THE DIFFERENCE:
North is favored but Harvard-Westlake is dangerous and loaded with arms. The Huskies have last ups, so…

THE FINAL SCORE:
North 4, Harvard-Westlake 3

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