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Justin Lee, Levi Sterling Throw Sherman Oaks Notre Dame to Win Harvard-Westlake

With a fastball touching 95 mph Wednesday night, Justin Lee of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame it has the kind of speed that attracts the attention of professional scouts. His future college coach, wild john from UCLA, was sitting behind home plate for Lee’s matchup game against Mission League rival Harvard-Westlake.

Helped by increased confidence in his abilities, Lee has greatly improved his command in his latest season. He struck out six, walked one and allowed two hits in six innings to help the Knights (9-1, 5-1) beat the Wolverines 2-1 at Notre Dame.

“I know they are rudimentary, so I went straight to them and trusted my stuff,” Lee said.

Notre Dame scored twice in the first inning off Harvard-Westlake ace Thomas Bridges on RBI singles by Ryan Limerock and Madden Ocko.

Lee was in command. He twice struck out Harvard-Westlake junior standout Bryce Rainer with fiery fastballs. However, in the sixth, Rainer sent a fastball over the net in right field for a home run.

“I tip my cap to him,” Lee said. “He’s a very good hitter.”

As usual in the Notre Dame versus Harvard-Westlake series, no win comes easy, so the Wolverines pushed in the seventh against closer Levi Sterling. Will Gasparino, making his first appearance of the season after breaking his hand, led off with a single and finished third with two outs. Cade Goldstein brought the count to 3 and 2 against Sterling and continued to foul off pitches before Sterling struck out the game to end the save.

Harvard-Westlake’s Bryce Rainer celebrates after hitting a home run in the sixth inning of a 2-1 loss to Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

(Craig Weston)

The two teams resume action on Thursday and Friday at Harvard-Westlake.

First-year coach Shaun Kort continues to generate excitement at St. Francis. First, the Golden Knights defeated Harvard-Westlake and on Tuesday handed Sierra Canyon its first loss, 3-0. Kalani Quiroz hit a two-run home run for the save. Caleb Thatcher pitched five scoreless innings.

No. 1-ranked Santa Margarita improved to 4-0 in the Trinity League and toppled defending Division 1 champion JSerra to 0-4 with a 7-1 win over the Lions. Collin Clarke struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings and Blake Wilson had three hits and two RBIs.

Mater Dei improved to 4-0 in the Trinity League with a 4-0 win over St. John Bosco. Sophomore Landon Gordon struck out seven in six shutout innings.