Four SoCal teams reach semifinals of National High School Baseball Invitational

Corona, CA - May 12: Corona starting pitcher Ethan Schiefelbein delivers a pitch against Notre Dame (SO) during the Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinal game at Corona High School in Corona Friday, May 12, 2023. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Pitcher Ethan Schiefelbein, of Corona, struck out 12 and threw a one-hitter in North Carolina on Thursday. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The talent level in California high school baseball is always among the best, a point that became even clearer on Thursday when all four Southern California teams won their quarterfinal games during the 16-team National High School Baseball Invitational in Cary, N.C. The wins set up semifinals matching Corona vs. Huntington Beach and Harvard-Westlake vs. Orange Lutheran.

"I think there's a lot of quality programs throughout this country," Harvard-Westlake coach Jared Halpert said. "We had the opportunity to bring four teams and California baseball is pretty good."

There was no way Ethan Schiefelbein of Corona was leaving the mound even though his pitch count passed 100. He was going to see through the game that would send Corona to the semifinals on his 18th birthday.

He finished with 107 pitches, striking out 12 and giving up one hit in Corona's 2-0 victory over Florida's Trinity Christian Academy. Sam Burgess hit a two-run home run in the sixth to break the scoreless game.

Corona (16-2) will face Huntington Beach (15-5) in the semifinals on Friday. Huntington Beach defeated Bishop Gorman 3-2 when Linkin Garcia was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh.

Trent Grindlinger had a two-run triple for Huntington Beach. Tyler Bellerose struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings and Colin McNiven got the save. Ethan Porter had two hits.

Harvard-Westlake (16-3-1) and Orange Lutheran (17-4) will meet for a third time this season. Harvard-Westlake defeated Arizona Casteel 3-2. The Wolverines took the lead Thursday in the bottom of the sixth with a bases-loaded hit batter. Caden Goldstein had two RBIs and Bryce Rainer and James Tronstein each had two hits.

Orange Lutheran defeated Washington, D.C. St. John's 8-0 to advance to the national tournament semifinals. Colt Peterson, Murdoch Taylor and Caden Miller combined on a four-hitter. Nate Savoie had two hits and two RBIs.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.