With its home baseball diamond under construction, Garfield has had no home games this season while practicing ground balls on the grass football field and dirt track. That’s been quite a sacrifice but the Bulldogs are about to receive an unforgettable reward. They get to play on a most pristine field at Dodger Stadium on Saturday morning.
Senior pitcher Anthony Cardenas retired 13 consecutive batters after giving up a leadoff single to start the game and finished with a two-hitter to lift Garfield past Bell 3-0 in the City Section Division I semifinals on Tuesday night at USC’s Dedeaux Field. Garfield will play Narbonne for the Division I title at 10 a.m. at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.
Cardenas, receiving strong contributions from his outfielders, struck out five and walked none.
“My outfielders were great today,” he said.
Catcher Jose Rosas helped Cardenas by supplying an RBI double in the first inning, an RBI single in the third and an RBI double in the seventh. Demian Flores-Munoz had two hits.
Garfield brought three buses of fans to the game plus 12 members of its mariachi band. Playing at nearby Dodger Stadium could bring out lots of Bulldog supporters. And there’s a chance rival Roosevelt could join Garfield in a doubleheader. Roosevelt plays Chatsworth in an Open Division semifinal on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at USC.
Alejandro Rosas struck out eight in six innings for Bell.
Narbonne 5, Taft 0: Juan Garcia struck out seven over six shutout innings to lead the Gauchos (18-13) into their first appearance at Dodger Stadium since 2019 by eliminating No. 1-seeded Taft (14-15) at USC.
Owen Martin had an inside-the-park home run. Garcia and Lucas Torres contributed two-run singles. Taft had two players ejected. Pitcher Matthew Magruder was sent to the bench after he hit his sixth batter in the sixth inning. Catcher Matthew Leiterman was ejected after objecting a call at the plate on Martin’s home run.
Rob Atencia got the save after replacing Garcia in the seventh and will get the start on Saturday. It will be a special moment for Narbonne coach Bill Dillon, because his son, Brandon, is the starting left fielder as a freshman.