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    Villa Park baseball’s pitchers making shutouts a regular thing
    • March 13, 2024

    Win or lose, the Villa Park baseball team is going to pitch well.

    The Spartans (7-4 overall) are 6-2 over their past eight games. They have outscored their opponents 25-6 during that run.

    Villa Park’s losses over the eight-game span are 2-0 to Tesoro and Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Hart.

    The Spartans, who are No. 8 in the Orange County Top 25, have a team earned-run average of 0.72.

    “Every single game we’re pitching out of our minds,” said Villa Park senior right-hander Justin Tims.

    Villa Park won four straight games by shutout, blanking in order Dana Hills, Fullerton, Canyon and Esperanza.

    “The pitchers have performed extremely well this year,” said Villa Park coach Burt Call, in his sixth season with the Spartans after coaching at Mater Dei. “They’ve worked very hard in the bullpen, mastering the command of their pitches and that’s translated very well into our games.”

    Villa Park pitchers Justin Tims, left, and Jake Nobles combined for a shutout in a 3-0 victory over Canyon on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Villa Park High School. (Photo by Lou Ponsi)

    Tims, who committed to Washington, has not allowed an earned run in his 17 innings. He is 2-0 with 20 strikeouts and two walks in 17 innings.

    Spartans senior right-hander Aaron Sambath is 2-1 with a 0.34 ERA and 18 strikeouts with four walks in 20 2/3 innings.

    “With Tims, it’s fastballs and changeups, and he’ll mix in a slider or two as well,” Call said. “Sambath is more of a fastball and curveball pitcher, and he will mix in a changeup.”

    When they are not pitching Tims plays third base and Sambath plays shortstop.

    Junior right-hander Jake Nobles is 3-0 and has not allowed an earned run while striking out 15 with two walks in his 15 innings.

    Sophomore outfielder Aidan Young is batting .357 with team highs of 10 hits, eight RBIs and five doubles.

    Tims said the pitchers, under the tutelage of Villa Park’s veteran pitching coach Patrick Fitzsimons, bring more to the team than what they’re throwing on the mound.

    “Our philosophy as a pitching staff is that we lead the team,” Tims said. “We’re going to continue to do that.”


    Orange Lutheran is ranked No. 1 in CIF-SS Division 1 after beating previous-No. 1 Corona 4-2 in the championship game of the Prep Baseball California Spring Invitational tournament. Other Orange County teams in the Division 1 Top 10 are No. 4 Huntington Beach, No. 5 JSerra, No. 6 Santa Margarita and No. 10 Cypress.

    Two other Orange County teams are at No. 1 in their divisions. Savanna is No. 1 in Division 6. Pacifica Christian is No. 1 in Division 8.

    In Division 2, Servite is ranked No. 3 and Aliso Niguel is No. 7.

    In Division 3, Los Alamitos is No. 2, behind St. John Bosco, Beckman is No. 4 and Corona del Mar is No. 9.

    In Division 4, San Juan Hills is No. 2 and Estancia No. 5.

    In Division 6, University is No. 3, Century No. 5 and Costa Mesa No. 6.

    In Division 7, Buena Park is No. 4 and Santa Ana is No. 7.

    Bolsa Grande is No. 2 in Division 8.

    The CIF-SS Baseball Committee creates the polls.


    Orange Lutheran also replaced Corona as the No. 1 team in Prep Baseball Report’s California rankings. Huntington Beach is No. 4 in that state Top 25 that includes No. 15 JSerra, No. 22 Santa Margarita and No. 24 San Juan Hills. …

    San Juan Hills (10-1) has outscored its opponents 47-7 this season. The Stallions beat Aliso Niguel 1-0 in a Sea View League game Tuesday as senior right-hander Austin Plisinski pitched five scoreless innings. …

    Mission Viejo beat Edison 18-10 last week without hitting a home run. …

    The Ryan Lemmon Spring Tournament at Great Park begins March 30. …

    The National Classic, that is mostly played at El Dorado, starts April 1. …

    The Boras Classic South, played at JSerra and Mater Dei, begins April 2. …

    The Anaheim Lions Tournament continues with 16 games on Friday.

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    ​ Orange County Register