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No. 1 Orange Lutheran ends rough week with another loss to St. John Bosco

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

BELLFLOWER -- St. John Bosco stole Orange Lutheran's momentum, capping a three-game sweep of the Lancers with a 3-1 home victory Friday.

The Lancers (12-4, 3-3) entered the week on top: first in the Orange County rankings and first in the CIF-SS Division 1 poll after winning the prestigious National High School Invitational on Saturday, April 1. But most importantly to the Braves, Orange Lutheran entered the teams' series first in the Trinity League.

St. John Bosco now holds that position with a 5-1 league record.

"We ran into a buzz saw," Orange Lutheran coach Eric Borba about the Braves, who snapped his team's 10-game winning streak. "They were great this week. They just kicked our butts in every aspect of the game."

The aspect that carried the Braves (12-3) on Friday was their pitching. Senior Johnny Kuhn went the distance, struck out seven, walked one and allowed four hits on 95 pitches.

The Lancers' lone run crossed the plate on a disputed balk call.

"He pitched his heart out," said St. John Bosco coach Dan Barbara. "He commanded his pitches, he threw for strikes. He made some mistakes, but he was able to come back and make them swing at his pitches."

Senior leadoff hitter Tristan Hanoian went 3 for 3 and scored the Lancers' only run in the sixth to cut St. John Bosco's lead to 2-1.

The Braves added a run in the sixth to give Kuhn a two-run cushion heading into the final frame.

Orange Lutheran senior starter Korey Cirks left the game in the fourth after a grounder hit him in the calf. Borba said Cirks should be fine and that the decision to remove him was part precautionary and part situational, saying it would have been a tough spot -- runners on the corners with two outs -- to insert Cirks back into after being shaken up.

Cirks allowed one run on the seven hits and 52 pitches.

"We've got a week off," said Borba. "So hopefully we can regroup and recover. ... We know we have a good club here."


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