CHATSWORTH — The Sierra Canyon baseball team’s pitching staff continues to stifle opposing hitters.
Kassius Thomas and Eddie Mgdesyan combined for a two-hit shutout and Max Martin drove in a pair of runs Thursday to help the Trailblazers clinch the Gold Coast League title outright with a 3-0 win over Paraclete at M.J. Siegel Stadium.
Windward’s 15-5 loss to Viewpoint sealed the title for Sierra Canyon (22-0, 10-0).
Sierra Canyon coach Jerry Royster credited a “game by game” approach for the team’s 22-0 record this season.
“But it matters that we pitch the way we do,” Royster said. “We prepare. It’s hard to believe there’s a team that’s better prepared than we are.”
Thomas, who was out of the country for 10 days, worked out of early trouble after missing the strike zone on his first seven pitches and committing an error to put the first two runners on.
He recorded his first of two strikeouts to settle in and got through two hitless innings for Sierra Canyon, the top-ranked team in CIF-Southern Section Division 2.
Mgdesyan, who started the game at third base, was originally slated to start on the mound but Royster wanted to ease Thomas back into the rotation. Mgdesyan, a recent USC commit, worked the final five innings in relief to pick up the win.
The Spirits (15-7, 7-3) didn’t crack the hit column until Donovan Chao’s lead-off single in the fourth off Mgdesyan, who allowed just two hits, struck out five and walked one.
“Today, everything was working — fastball, curveball, slider,” Mgdesyan said.
The performance continued a dominant season for a Trailblazers pitching staff that has yet to allow more than three runs in a game.
“They’ve got multiple guys up there throwing with plus-arms,” Paraclete coach Greg Burnias said. “When you can just go one guy after another, it really makes it difficult.”
Martin, who finished 3 for 3, connected for RBI singles in the first and third innings to give Sierra Canyon a 2-0 lead.
“I was just looking for something good to hit and I got it,” said Martin, who also stole two bases. “I squared it up and luckily found a hole.”
Sierra Canyon leadoff hitter Andrew Cisneros, who scored twice, added an RBI single in the fourth. Cisneros finished 1 for 1 with a walk, a stolen base and was hit by a pitch.
Paraclete starting pitcher John Balok Jr. labored through three-plus innings, allowed three runs on just two hits. He walked five and struck out two. Balok, who also threw two wild pitches, walked the first two batters of the fourth before Gavin Maish worked the final three innings.
“Against a good Sierra Canyon team, I thought (Balok) battled,” Burnias said.
Before the game, Sierra Canyon held a ceremony observing Jackie Robinson Day, one day before Major League Baseball does the same.
All Trailblazers players and coaches wore No. 42 on the front of their jersey and a hat with 42 in place of the team logo. A blue 42 was painted behind home plate.