May 17, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Young pitchers lift Northwood past Dana Hills in Ryan Lemmon Tournament

Northwood pitcher Paul Grossman and catcher Adam Harper are congratulated by Coach Doug Euper in the early innings Monday. No. 6 is Jon Cilderman. (Photos: OC Sports Zone, Tim Burt).

Northwood High School’s baseball team used a strong effort from three young pitchers and a solid hitting attack to defeat Dana Hills 8-0 Monday in a second round game at the Ryan Lemmon Invitational at Great Park Stadium field 10.

Freshman Paul Grossman pitched the first five innings striking out seven and allowing two hits to get the win for the Timberwolves.

“He’s really, really good and is going to be something very special,” said Northwood Coach Doug Euper. “He did great today and I’m really happy for him.”

To see the slide show, click on the first photo:

Luke Hansen and Keagan McLaughlin, two sophomore pitchers up from the junior varsity team and making their varsity debut completed the shutout with one inning each for Northwood, which evened its tournament record at 1-1.

Northwood (8-11 overall) had 10 hits off four pitchers for Dana Hills (7-10).

“We’ve been really improving at the plate since our slow start,” Euper said. “A lot of guys have been doing a nice job for us.”

The Harper brothers, Adam and Joseph, had big days at the plate. Adam Harper, a junior and also a standout running back for the Timberwolves, was 3 for 3 with a run scored and two RBI and Joseph Harper, a freshman, was 2 for 4 with two runs scored, an RBI and a double.

“We had a young guy on the mound and we knew if he could compete and throw strikes, we would be in good shape and that’s what he did from the beginning,” said Adam Harper. “And we found ourselves in the game. Me and my dad have been putting in the extra work and I guess it’s kind of been paying off.”

Northwood also got strong efforts from leadoff hitter Ryan Littlejohn, who was 1 for 2 with three runs scored and designated hitter Cal Euper, Coach’s Euper’s son, who was 1 for 2 with two RBI coming on a single in the third inning in which Northwood scored four runs to move out to a 5-0 lead.

Dana Hills threatened in the bottom of the first inning when Sebastian Moore and Zach Leite walked with one out. But Grossman was able to notch a strikeout to end the inning.

The Dolphins also loaded the bases in the fifth inning but were unable to score.

Both teams have two more games left in the 30-team tournament.

Northwood is hoping to gain some momentum for the rest of league play. The Timberwolves are in third place in the PCL with a 7-5 mark.

“We’re trying to figure out who we are and who are our best guys to put on the field,” Euper said. “We’re so young, we just want to keep finding out who can do well for us and try to become a team that can get into the playoffs. We’re really excited, I love this group of guys.

“It’s a good group of guys who work very hard and I really think they’re becoming a team.”

Dana Hills opened the tournament Saturday defeating Newport Harbor 10-4 while Northwood lost to Corona del Mar 9-3.

–Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com