Mater Dei leans on defense, pitching to sweep series with No. 3 Servite


SANTA ANA - Same result, different day.

Seventh-ranked Mater Dei defeated No. 3 Servite, 2-1, to seal a three-game sweep over their Trinity League rivals Friday night at Mater Dei High.

The Monarchs relied heavily on their pitching and defense, as Jonathan Schiffer and Jake Briones combined to hold the Friars (11-6, 2-4) to one run, a solo-home run by Matthew Strother in the second inning.

Mater Dei (10-5, 4-2) took the lead on a RBI single by Max Foxcroft in the sixth, and then Briones came in to close the game out and earn his seventh save of the season.

Monarchs coach Burt Call was pleased with his team’s effort.

“We made some plays and got Schiffer out of some situations, but I thought he pitched a great game," Call said. "He kept us in the game and then we got the timely hit by Max Foxcroft with two outs and that was huge.”

Servite threatened to take the lead on several occasions but it was unable to get the key hit to change the course of the game. The Friars lost the first two games in the series this week, 4-3, in 11 innings, and 5-3.

Mater Dei, on the other hand, made serveral key plays that helped it hold onto second place in the league standings behind St. John Bosco (5-1 in league).

The Monarchs got on the scoreboard in the opening frame as Schiffer hit a grounder up the middle that scored Michael Peabody.

The Friars answered back during their next at-bat when Strother connected on the first pitch he saw from Schiffer and blasted a shot to center field to even the score.

Servite had an opportunity to take the lead in the third. But with runners on the corners, Jarred Greene hit into a 4-6-3 double play that ended the inning.

Sophomore pitcher Knolton Clark did his part to keep the Friars within striking distance, and in the sixth Servite had another chance to take the lead by putting runners on first and second with one out.

A heads-up throw by Mater Dei catcher Blake Hunt picked off Emmanuel Dean at first for the second out. Strother popped up on the next at-bat to end the threat.

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