(Riverside) – Palm Desert scored four times in the top of the first inning and pitcher Brooks Kriske did the rest in a 4-0 win over Temple City Saturday night in the CIF Division 4 Championship at UC Riverside.
Kriske, who is headed to USC in the fall, allowed just fout hits and struck out 10 including the last three batters of the contest. Benji Sanderson walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh but Kriske then fanned the next three batters to slam the door.
“Brooks was awesome on the mound. When he needed a strikeout he got it. When he needed a ground ball he got it,” said Temple City Coach Barry Bacon. “When you’re chasing four against a guy that good it’s tough. We were swimming upstream the whole time.”
Palm Desert jumped on Ram starter Calvin Copping right out of the gate. Former Temple City National Dodger Jonathan Serven led off with a base hit to right field and John Schuknecht singled to left. Kriske hit a ground ball to second and Schuknecht was forced at second base but the return throw to first was wild allowing Serven to score. One out later Jacob Clark walked and Kelly Arcand followed with a two run double to right. Clark then scored on a base hit by Connor Ventura. Before the Rams had sent a batter to the plate they were down 4-0.
Kyle Starling singled to open the first but was left stranded. Starling walked in the third but was caught off when he attmpted to steal and a subsequent fly ball to right resulted in a double play.
Temple City had a golden opportunity in the sixth when Cameron Legrand and Jonah Jarrard singled to open the inning. Corey Copping then hit a shot that appeared to be heading into right field. But Palm Desert second baseman Schuknecht made a leaping grab of the line drive and turned it into a double play. Calvin Copping then fanned to end the inning.
“We swung the bats so well today. Our approach was good but they made the plays and we just couldn’t get the ball down on the grass,” Bacon said.
Calvin Copping allowed seven hits but only three after the first inning. He struck out four and walked just one. After the first he faced only one batter over the minimum.
“Calvin was as good as he can be from the second inning on. He gave up a couple of hits here or there and we made some plays in the field but being down four was just tough,” Bacon said.
Copping (Calvin) retired the last nine batters in succession and faced only three batters in the fourth when the Rams turned a double play. Brian Serven beat out an infield hit in the third but he was caught stealing as Copping again faced just three hitters.
Temple City can still boast about a Rio Hondo League title and a trip to the CIF Finals for the first time in school history. The Rams finished 25-3-1 overall.
“It’s extremely gratifying and I told them with all the great players who have gone to Temple City that they are going to rank among the best because they are the only ones that got here,” Bacon added. “I feel great for our former coaches and for our school and our community because we were banging on the door a lot of times and we finally broke through.
For Palm Desert it was its second CIF title in the last three years.
PD 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
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