No. 1 Bishop Amat advanced with an 8-7 victory on Tuesday over Chaminade of West Hills. It was the second straight year the Lancers had to get by the Eagles in the semis and this time it was much more difficult.
An RBI double from Mike Lange in the top the seventh scored Jordan Swaydan (who also doubled) to give Amat an 8-7 lead. Chaminade, which scored five in the sixth to tie the score at 7-7 (three of the runs coming on a homer by Cody Haerther), put the tying run base in the bottom of the seventh before Adam Simon came on and struck out Andrew Yaffe to end the game.
Simon, who had three hits, only pitched the seventh inning and will be available from the start against La Quinta.
The No. 2 Aztecs also have their pitching set up well to face Bishop Amat as both Mike McKernan (13-0) and Ian Kennedy (13-0) worked three plus innings in their 12-3 win over Oak Park of Agoura Hills in the other semifinal.
Kennedy came on in relief and struck out 10 batters in 3 2/3 innings. Cameron Blanchard gave La Quinta its first lead at 3-2 with a two-run double in the third inning. The Aztecs tacked on four more runs in the fourth inning while Kennedy did the rest.
Amat defeated La Quinta, 6-2, earlier in the season in the championship game of the Toyo National Classic. Anthony Hidalgo pitched that game as the Lancers won the event for the second straight season.
The winner of the Amat-La Quinta contest could also wind up No. 1 in the nation, but would need help in Texas as current No. 1 Elkins High of Missouri City is still playing. Another possible Texas No. 1 is Reagan High of San Antonio. Elkins and Reagan may meet soon in the Class 5A state playoffs.