Prep baseball playoffs: Boston Bateman is overpowering in Camarillo's 9-0 victory

The first thing you notice about left-hander Boston Bateman is his size. He’s 6 feet 8 with lots of hair sticking out from the back of his Camarillo High hat.

There’s high expectations whenever he pitches because he rarely gives up hits. Four times this baseball season, he has combined on no-hitters while giving up six hits in 48 innings with 102 strikeouts.

So there he was Thursday afternoon with the wind blowing in and not a cloud in the sky, pitching in an opening game of the Southern Section Division 4 playoffs against visiting Dos Pueblos, which joked about turning up the pitching machine to 92 mph in practice.

“Not hard enough,” a player said before the game.

It turned out that player knows what he’s talking about. Bateman, who committed to LSU but is expected to be a high draft pick, gave up two hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight, walking three and hitting a batter in Camarillo’s 9-0 victory. He came through with a strikeout in the fourth with the bases loaded, showing emotion and trying to fire up his teammates. That led to a five-run inning in the bottom of the fourth.

Even though he had some command issues early in the season (he has 33 walks in 53 1/3 innings), Bateman clearly has made progress, putting him in position to be a draft candidate for the first or second round this summer. And pitching in Division 4, there’s going to be an opponent who gets lucky to beat him. He has four pitches, but his mid-90s fastball overpowers high school hitters. He’s limiting himself to 85 pitches to protect his arm.

“He’s grown so much since the beginning of the year,” coach TJ Foreman said.

Bateman is also one of Camarillo’s top hitters. He had an RBI single in the first inning and another single in the third. Tommy Goodin had two RBI hits. The Scorpions, seeded No. 1 in Division 4, had four bunts in the game, two going for singles. They will play at Murrieta Valley on Tuesday.

Hart 5, Simi Valley 4: In a wild Division 2 opener with darkness lurking in the bottom of the 14th inning, Hart finally won when Brayden Jefferis drove in the winning run with a one-out sacrifice fly. There were many heroes for Hart, which trailed 3-0. Troy Cooper entered the game in the eighth inning and allowed one hit in seven innings of relief.

But it was junior Brady Werther coming through most of all. He hit a two-run home run to tie the game 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh. He hit an RBI double to tie the game 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth. The win delays retirement plans for Hart coach Jim Ozella. The team advances to Tuesday’s second round at Newport Harbor.

Maranatha 4, Royal 0: Zach Strickland threw a no-hitter with 17 strikeouts in Maranatha’s Division 2 opener.

Villa Park 6, Bishop Amat 1: Justin Tims struck out nine and walked none in throwing a shutout in the Division 1 opener. Shawn Romero had three hits.

Orange Lutheran 6, Sierra Canyon 0: A six-run sixth inning sent the Lancers into the next round of the Division 1 playoffs. Gary Morse threw a one-hit shutout. Freshman Sean Parrow had the Lancers shut out for five innings but a bases-loaded walk and bases-loaded hit batter in the sixth got the Lancers rolling. Derek Curiel had a two-run single.

Westlake 10, Mira Costa 1: Johnny Backus hit a three-run home run in the first inning, and Nolan Johnson drove in five runs for Westlake, seeded No. 1 in Division 2. Dylan Volantis struck out 10 in six innings.

Arcadia 3, Long Beach Poly 0: Gabriel Lopez struck out eight, walked none and allowed four hits in 6 1/3 innings for Arcadia in Division 2.

Valencia 7, Aliso Niguel 1: Michael Mair threw a four-hitter and Aiden Voyles had four hits in Valencia’s 7-1 win.

San Juan Hills 1, Cajon 0: Drew Nelson threw six scoreless innings for San Juan Hills.

Ayala 6, La Serna 1: Caleb Trugman struck out nine in six innings and Dylan Wood had two hits and two RBIs for Ayala.

Arlington 4, Woodbridge 2: Nathan Chavez and Cody Kiemele combined on a seven-hitter for Arlington.

St. Francis 8, Windward 3: Jordan Lewallen had two hits and three RBIs for St. Francis.

Newport Harbor 1, Capistrano Valley Christian 0: Ryan Williams went four for four to lead Newport Harbor.

Quartz Hill 13, Charter Oak 1: Ismael Quintero struck out eight in six innings.

Chatsworth 7, Birmingham 3: The Chancellors handed Birmingham its first defeat after 12 consecutive West Valley League victories. Logan Ruiz had two hits and two RBIs and Mason Ruiz threw five innings for the Chancellors.

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