Road to the CIF Playoffs: Baseball


Last season, the Lancers were widely considered one of the country's best high school baseball teams.  The Lancers won their 3rd Trinity League title in 4 seasons and went 25-5 overall. 


Coming into the 2023 campaign, the Lancers were still talented, but the dynamic was different due to a youth movement following the graduation of several key senior leaders.


“There's a lot of youth with a lot of talent coming out,” says OLu baseball head coach Eric Borba. “It's an interesting dynamic we're trying to work through. There are a lot of options, a lot of variety in the lineups. Day by day, it could be a little different.”


Read the full season preview.


Regular Season

Despite the youth movement, OLu jumped out of the gate strongly in the PBR Spring Classic.  The Lancers beat Redondo, Aquinas, and Redondo en route to the championship game against Gahr.  That game ended in a tie due to a sprinkler issue, but the Lancers opened the season 5-0-1.


Once in league play, the Lancers struggled, losing 5 of their first nine games.  As they headed to Alabama in late March, the Lancers sat at 9-6-1. 

From that point forward, OLu rattled off wins in 8 of their final 12 games.  They made the semifinals of the Boras Classic and won 3 of 4 games in the prestigious tournament.  


Coming out of the Boras Classic, they swept the series against Bosco.  The series' opening game featured a stunning 10-run 7th inning after being down 6-0 heading into the final frame.  Three Lancers hit home runs to lead the comeback.

Baseball vs Bosco-51-221607

OLu would finish the regular season 17-10-1 and in 4th place in Trinity League play.  They qualified for the Division 1 CIF-SS Playoffs as one of two at-large berths.  Their first-round matchup was against Arlington High School (Riverside).


CIF 1st Round vs. Arlington

In the opener of the Division 1 CIF Baseball playoffs on Wednesday, the Lancers used six runs in the final three frames to pull away from Arlington and win 8-3.


Up 3-2 in the 6th, Casey Borba broke the game open with a 2-run homer to left-center field, extending the margin to 3. Borba’s homerun was the 9th of his career passing Gerrit Cole ‘08 for the most home runs in Lancers history. Borba went 2-4 with 2 RBI. Derek Curiel was 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored. OLu had 11 hits on the day.


On the mound, Nic Peterson earned the win in relief of Evan Miranda, pitching a perfect two innings striking out 3. Four Lancers combined to allow three runs on seven hits.


The Lancers matched up with Harvard Westlake in round 2 at Hart Park.


CIF 2nd Round vs. Harvard Westlake

Casey Borba, only the 3rd batter of the game, singled home Derek Curiel following his double to make it 1-0 OLu in the bottom of the 1st, which was enough as Orange Lutheran beat Harvard Westlake 1-0 in Tuesday’s Division 1 CIF 2nd round contest.


The trio of Colt Peterson, Nic Peterson, and Evan Miranda shut out the Wolverines allowing only three hits while striking out 4. Nic Peterson picked up the win.


OLu had five hits, as Brock Wirthgen, Brady Murrieta, and Justin Lopez joined Borba and Curiel’s 1st inning hits. 


The Lancers advanced to the CIF Quarterfinals, where they hosted Villa Park at Hart Park.


CIF Quarterfinals vs. Villa Park

Up 3-1 in the bottom of the 4th, freshman Brady Murrieta doubled down the line with bases loaded to clear the bases and give Orange Lutheran a 6-1 lead over Villa Park, the final score which advanced Orange Lutheran to the CIF Semifinals.


OLu got a jump on the Spartans in the 1st.  Murrieta and JJ Robles each singled in runs to give the Lancers a 2-0 lead.  Josiah Hartshorn added the 3rd run on a sac fly in the 2nd. 


Combined with Murriettas double, that was more than enough for the Lancers pitching staff. Jordan Cole started the game and struck out 4. Nic Peterson fanned 6 in relief, and Brady Strohm, Colt Peterson, and Ross Clark each had 1. The Lancers pitchers allowed two hits and struck out 14 combined.


OLu will take in a familiar foe in Santa Margarita on Tuesday, May 16, in the CIF Semifinals at 3:15 pm. 


CIF Semifinal vs Santa Margarita

The Lancers took on Santa Margarita on Tuesday afternoon in the CIF Semifinals.

OLu got jumped on early, giving up three runs in the first and another pair in the 3rd to fall into a 5-0 hole. In the top of the 4th, Derek Curiel jump-started OLu with an infield single. After a hit by a pitch to Casey Borba, Brady Murrieta singled in Curiel to cut the lead. However, OLu was unable to tack on more. The Eagles continued to shut down OLu, with the final staying at 5-1.
The Lancers will have two weeks off before opening the CIF State Regional on Tuesday, May 30. 


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Topics from this blog: Athletics