Los Angeles, CA – Narbonne High School starting pitcher DJ Orona got off to a shaky start in the first inning, giving up two hits and a walk.
“Going into that first inning, I’m not going to lie, I was nervous,” Orona said. “Who wouldn’t be nervous pitching at Dodger Stadium but after I got into the dugout my coaches told me to have fun and do my job.”
The sophomore settled down to strike out seven and throw a complete-game shutout in a 4-0 win over Marshall in the City Section Division I championship game Saturday at Dodger Stadium. This was the Gauchos first title since 1991.
“I had the bullpen going in the first inning because you don’t want to be down early,” Narbonne coach Bill Dillon said. “He started off with the jitters and I wasn’t sure he was going to get through it. I knew once he got to a comfortable part he would have a chance to finish the game.”
Narbonne got on the board in the second inning after Chris Vega’s RBI single to center field scored Andres Quintero.
In the third inning, Julio Camarena gets on base after he hits a grounder to the second baseman who can’t make the play. Hasan Standifer singled to right field and Brandon Conklin reached base with a bunt to load the bases no outs. Camarena would come around to score on Quintero’s sacrifice fly to give Narbonne a 2-0 lead.
The Gauchos took a 4-0 lead in the fifth on Camarena’s two-run single. That’s all Orona needed as he cruised the rest of the way to victory.
“It feels amazing,” Orona said of winning a title at Dodger Stadium. “I just looked at the stands and saw everyone going crazy (after the final out). I had the biggest smile.”