Previews of the games Friday for the Orange County teams in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section baseball playoffs.




JSERRA (22-9) VS. CORONA (23-9

Where, when: Corona High School, 3:15 p.m.

Outlook: JSerra beat Corona 13-1 in the Boras Classic South tournament last month. JSerra won the CIF-SS Division 1 championship last season.  Andrew Lamb (USC signee), Jonathan Mendez (UC Santa Barbara) and Dominic Smaldino (Cal) homered and Lou Fujiwara had five RBIs for JSerra in its quarterfinals win over Sierra Canyon. Corona won the Big VIII League championship.Corona’s pitching has been outstanding all season, with a staff ERA of 1.88. Among Corona’s starting pitcher options is junior lefty Sam Burgess, who has 42 strikeouts in 44.2 innings and a 2.51 ERA.


Where, when: Santa Margarita High School, 3:15 p.m.

Outlook: It’s an all-Trinity League semifinal. Santa Margarita swept Orange Lutheran in three games in the first week of league play. Orange Lutheran senior outfielder Derek Curiel (LSU) is batting .363 with a team-high 37 hits. Orange Lutheran frequently uses multiple pitchers in a game and might do so again Tuesday. Santa Margarita won the league championship with a 14-1 league record.  Blake Balsz (UCLA) homered and Luke Lavin (Stanford) had three hits in the quarterfinals win over La Mirada. Senior lefty Sammy Cova (Oregon), who is 6-2 with a 1.51 ERA, is the Eagles’ probable starting pitcher Tuesday.

Santa Margarita’s Samuel Cova throws a strike against Orange Lutheran during a Trinity League game at Hart Park in Orange on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)


YORBA LINDA (17-12-1) VS. ALISO NIGUEL (18-13)

Where, when: Aliso Niguel High School, 3:15 p.m.

Outlook: In the Mustangs’ win over Long Beach Poly in the quarterfinals, senior Ray Kim hit a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth inning and Aiden Alvarez and Mason Smith shared the pitching duties. Aliso Niguel, after a difficult start to the season, keeps winning. The Wolverines were 0-5 and 2-9 before winning the Sea View League championship with an 8-4 league record. Junior designated hitter Brandon Tatch leads Aliso Niguel in RBIs with 27.

Aliso Niguel right fielder Chase Muirbrook dives to catch a fly ball hit by La Serna’s Isaac Aguilar for the second out during the seventh inning of a CIF Division 3 quarterfinals prep baseball game in Whittier, on Friday, May 12, 2023. (Photo by Alex Gallardo, Contributing Photographer)



Where, when: Crean Lutheran High School, 3:15 p.m.

Outlook: Sultana, in Hesperia, beat Laguna Hills 5-0 in the first round, Arrowhead Christian 3-1 in the second round and Chaparral 17-6 in the quarterfinals.  Crean Lutheran finished third in the Empire League and is seeded No. 1 in this division. The Saints’ probable starting pitcher Tuesday is Pepperdine-commited Wyat Nichol, who is 3-2 with a 1.42 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 25 innings. Crean Lutheran’s Jack O’Malley s batting .418 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs.


Where, when: Canyon High School, 3:15 p.m.

Outlook: Canyon finished fourth in the four-team North Hills League that is a good league. League champion Yorba Linda is in the Division 3 semifinals and third-place Brea reached this division’s quarterfinals. Canyon’s Austin Duarte has 25 hits and 23 RBIs. Second-seeded Linfield Christian of Temecula senior Elijah Butler has 35 hits and 30 RBIs.

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