Fullerton’s baseball team last season might have snuck up on everyone who pays attention to Southern California high school baseball.

The Indians advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division 4 championship game and to the CIF Southern California Regional Division IV championship game, losing in both to Tesoro by scores of 3-0 in the CIF-SS final and 6-4 in the regional final.

Fullerton tied with Sunny Hills for the Freeway League championship.

Fullerton is 7-2 this season, with wins over Corona del Mar, Ocean View and San Clemente. The Indians are No. 13 in the Orange County Top 25. The losses are to Villa Park 4-3, which is No. 2 in the Orange County Top 25, and 2-0 on Monday to county No. 12 Pacifica.

The Indians are a Division 2 team this season. They are not in this week’s Division 2 Top 10 as selected by the CIF-SS baseball committee.

If the season continues the way it started, those votes will come soon.

Among the returnees for Fullerton is senior catcher Nate Norman, last season’s Freeway League MVP. He is batting .333 with eight RBIs.

“Nate Norman obviously is our guy,” said Fullerton coach Shaun Hill. “Connor Sunderland is just as hot as he was last year.”

Sunderland, a senior who was all-league first team last season, is batting .433 and leads the team in hits with 13 and home runs with two. He has 12 RBIs, as does Malachi Meni, a transfer from Cypress. Zach Fany has 12 hits.

George Papadatos, unable to pitch last year because of an elbow problem, has 12 strikeouts in 10 innings. Matthew Carbajal has allowed only two earned runs with 14 strikeouts in his 16.1 innings.

“The kids are grinding and doing plenty of work on their own,” Hill said. “It’s a special group of seniors with some good young talent that’s come in. Our administration has given us everything we’ve wanted, like a new scoreboard, new netting and a new backstop, and our team’s parents have been amazing.”

Fullerton is scheduled to play league rival Troy at Angel Stadium on Wednesday, but weather conditions might keep that from happening. The Indians play in the Anaheim Lions Tournament that starts for them Saturday with games against Chaparral and San Clemente.


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Mater Dei completed a three-game Trinity League sweep of JSerra with a 2-1 win Monday. Monarchs pitchers JM Harduvel and Brennan Seiber combined to give up only one run over seven innings. JSerra was the Orange County preseason No. 1 and Baseball America had JSerra as its preseason No. 1 for the West Pacific Coast Region. …

Santa Margarita swept Orange Lutheran in three Trinity League games last week. …

Woodbridge is 8-2 overall and 6-1 in Pacific Coast League games. …

Estancia, No. 1 in the CIF-SS Division 5 rankings, plays Division 5 No. 4 Calvary Chapel  this week in two key Orange Coast League games, Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at Estancia and Friday at 4 p.m. at Irvine’s Great Park field No. 8.