Game Notes: La Mirada v Servite

Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

ANAHEIM, CA. - The CIF-Southern Section season kicked off on Saturday after months of anticipation. Unfortunately for most teams that anticipation had to be put on hold as rain forced cancellations of a great percentage of the scheduled games. There was one high profile double header that was able to be played thanks to Servite having a tarp on their field a great majority of the last week.

The Friars of Servite hosted La Mirada, the second ranked team in the PBR California Power 25, for a season opening double header that featured some stellar performances in front of a large crowd that included roughly 60 professional scouts on hand.

In game one, Jared Jones, the #2 overall player in the nation and #1 player in PBR California Class of 2020 rankings, took to the mound to get the season started for the Matadores. His stuff was electric from the outset. Working 92-94 and touching 95 with his fastball, Jones worked around a slow start in the first to settle into a spectacular start. The junior USC commit, who was on a strict pitch count, finished his day going five innings and striking out 11 while not allowing a hit or a walk. He also finished 2-for-3 with a run scored. Dominic Martinez chipped in with two hits of his own for the Matadores.  

After Jones came out of the game is when Servite went to work. Using patience at the plate they were able to manufacture a run and force extra innings after four walks in the sixth inning plated the tying run.

After a scoreless seventh, the Friars got a leadoff single from Garret Guillemette before he was sacrificed to second by Jake Lappin. Guillemette was then lifted for pinch runner Adam Baytosh before bringing Mikey Santos to the plate. The sophomore third baseman hit a line drive to right field that dropped scoring the winning run giving the Friars the 2-1 win to open the double-header.

Game two was the Chris Grothues show. The freshman southpaw twirled an absolute gem for the Friars. Despite the defense committing four errors that led to two unearned runs, Grothues showed the moxie and poise of a veteran on the mound enabling Servite to get back in the game and win it late.

La Mirada appeared to have all the momentum after answering Servite’s tying run in the bottom of the second with two runs of their own in the third to give the Matadores a 3-1 lead. The score stayed that way until the fifth when Jake Lappin sent a line drive into right field that would plate two more runs giving Servite a 4-3 lead.

The story of the game however was the performance of Grothues who was making his first varsity regular season start. The lefty threw 90 pitches, 60 of them for strikes. He threw an impressive 75% (21-28) first-pitch strikes and struck out eight while inducing six groundouts and six flyouts. He managed to keep La Mirada hitters off balance for most of the game by mixing a running fastball with a late breaking, slurvy curveball. He also threw a slider twice to the back foot of a right handed hitter that resulted in two called strikes. There’s some funk and deception to his delivery that makes for awkward at-bats for hitters.


Grothues wasn’t the only freshman who had a really good day for Servite. Trevor Schmidt put together good at-bat after good at-bat. In his first at-bat against Jones in game one it was as if he’d faced that sort of velocity before. He was not overwhelmed by the situation at all earning a five-pitch walk. In the second game he had another couple of really good at-bats including one that resulted in a line drive single to left field.

Junior second baseman Dominic Martinez of La Mirada also had a strong day all around. After finishing 2-for-3 in the first game, he was held hitless in the second but his approach and attention to detail at the plate and on defense remained. There’s a lot to like from Martinez who has some present physical strength and has some projectable tools both offensively and defensively.

Sophomore Mikey Santos of Servite is a player that will be highly sought after in recruiting circles. He’s a very good defender that shows range to both sides with excellent footwork around the bag and is seemingly always in proper position when fielding throws from outfielders with runners approaching third base. He shows a very good understanding of the strike zone and has some sneaky present power that should continue to develop with physical maturity.


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