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By Zach Cavanagh

Coming into the season, JSerra baseball coach Brett Kay wasn’t sure what the identity of his team was going to be.

The Lions may have finally found that identity.

With pitching, defense and timely hitting, JSerra claimed the Boras Classic Southern California title with a 2-1 win over La Mirada on April 6 at Mater Dei High School.

The Lions allowed only four runs over the four tournament games with strong pitching performances from junior Andrew Miller, freshman Gage Jump, senior Jake Reed, sophomore Tim Scarlett and junior Ryan Farmer.

Miller spun a one-hitter in the final over La Mirada with three strikeouts and one run allowed.

Reed opened the tournament with five shutout innings over Newbury Park and collected the Lions’ first league win with a one-hit shutout of Servite on Wednesday, April 11. Reed tossed eight strikeouts against Servite.

Jump allowed just one hit over 6.2 shutout innings against Simi Valley in the second game of the Boras Classic.

JSerra isn’t an offensive juggernaut, but lately, the Lions have gotten the hits exactly when they’ve needed them.

Most notable is junior Michael Curialle’s two home runs in the four Boras Classic games. Curialle’s blast against Newbury Park proved to be the winning run in the opener, and his solo shot against La Mirada put the Lions ahead in the final.

Junior Nino Vultaggio has also come in clutch with a two-run triple highlighting JSerra’s semifinal win over Harvard-Westlake.

The surge through the prestigious and loaded Boras Classic pushed the Lions up the CIF-SS rankings. JSerra is No. 5 in Division 1. Another reward is the Boras Classic state championship game against North bracket winner Bellarmine Prep of San Jose on May 5 at Santa Clara University.

All of this comes at the perfect time for JSerra as the Lions opened Trinity League play with a three-game series against Servite this week. Servite comes in at No. 10 in the Division 1 poll.

Jump had a strong start in the opener at Servite on April 10, but the Friars prevailed, 4-1.

JSerra evened the series with a fielder’s-choice run in the first inning and Miller’s one-hit shutout, 1-0. The teams square off in the rubber match on Friday, April 13 at Servite.

The Trinity League gives no breaks as JSerra continues with a three-game set against Orange Lutheran next week. Orange Lutheran, No. 3 in Division 1, has the home advantage with games at Hart Park in Orange on Tuesday, April 17 and Friday, April 20. JSerra hosts on Wednesday, April 18.

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