Contact Form

    News Details

    Seven-run inning lifts El Modena baseball to victory over Dana Hills in Division 3 playoffs
    • May 4, 2024

    DANA POINT — A seven-run fourth inning led El Modena’s baseball team to a 9-3 win over Dana Hills Friday in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs at Dana Hills High.

    El Modena (19-8-1) will play its second-round game at South Torrance on Tuesday. South Torrance beat Northwood 3-1 in the first round Friday.

    “Always happy to get a win, however it comes,” El Modena coach Josh Kliner said. “We didn’t sting the ball too well today but we put the ball in play and put pressure on. We hang our hats on the way we run the bases and I thought we did a tremendous job being aggressive and putting pressure on them.”

    The pitching matchup Friday was between two pitchers who signed with Big West Conference teams. Cal State Fullerton signee Grady Faris pitched for Dana Hills and Cal State Northridge signee Nick Santivanez pitched for the Vanguards.

    Both pitchers cruised through three innings until Faris ran into trouble in the fourth inning. El Modena sent 11 hitters to the plate, had four hits, had three players get hit by a pitch and scored seven runs.

    Lukas Alvarado started the rally with a run-scoring single to give the Vanguards a 1-0 lead. Christian Tafua drove in a run on a fielder’s choice when Alvarado was safe on an attempted play at the plate.

    Logan Asch hit a RBI single to extend the lead to three.

    Asch went 2 for 3 with a run scored and RBI. He leads the team with a .411 batting average and 30 hits.

    “Logan has been great all year. He has hit .400 and played gold glove-like defense for us,” Kliner said.

    Jack Selvey drove in a run with a single and Logan Honikel, in his second plate appearance of the inning, reached base on a fielding error by the Dolphins that also allowed a run to score.

    Selvey had two hits for El Modena and drove in a game-high three runs. He hit a two-run single in the fifth inning to extend El Modena’s lead to 9-0.

    Santivanez pitched six innings for El Modena and allowed three unearned runs with five strikeouts. He has a 7-1 record this season with a 0.70 earned run average.

    “The guy is an absolute stud, I don’t know what else to say about him,” Kliner said of Santivanez. “He commands the game and stays under control. He’s grown so much over four years and to see it culminating now at the end of his senior year is pretty enjoyable. He always gives us a chance to win.”

    Dana Hills scored all three of its runs in the sixth inning. Tyler Baker got a hit and later scored on a wild pitch. Caleb Fry grounded into an error that scored two runs to cut the lead to 9-3.

    Ryan Novajoski pitched a perfect seventh inning for El Modena to finish the game.

    Both El Modena and Dana Hills shared league championships with two other teams this season. The Vanguards were the co-champions in the Crestview League with Foothill and Villa Park. Dana Hills was the co-champs in the South Coast League with Tesoro and Trabuco Hills.

    Kliner believes that the team’s challenging schedule and the tough Crestview League helped prepare the team for a playoff run.

    “Nothing is really going to phase them because we’ve played great competition all year,” Kliner said. “I think our last five games we’ve faced a DI commit on the mound so we’ve kind of seen everything. Because of that the kids believe in themselves.”

    Dana Hills opened the season with a 1-6 record before turning its season around. It swept Capistrano Valley last week to qualify for the playoffs.

    The league championship was the third for the Dolphins under coach Tom Faris and this was the team’s 12th playoff appearance in his tenure.

    “I was really happy to see them compete, they really competed in league,” Faris said. “We set up a tough schedule to prepare them for tough teams in CIF and we just didn’t play very well today. But they didn’t quit, they kept playing and hats off to them.”

    Related Articles

    High School Sports |

    Baseball playoffs roundup: Buena Park, La Habra, Beckman win in Friday’s first round

    High School Sports |

    Fountain Valley baseball tops Trabuco Hills in CIF-SS playoffs with thrilling finish

    High School Sports |

    Cade Townsend dominates in Santa Margarita’s victory over Tesoro in Division 1 baseball playoffs

    High School Sports |

    Damien’s season ends with loss to Mater Dei in CIF-SS baseball playoffs

    High School Sports |

    CIF-SS baseball playoffs: Thursday’s scores, updated schedule

    ​ Orange County Register