Justin Lee, Levi Sterling set Sherman Oaks Notre Dame to beat Harvard-Westlake

With a fastball that was touching 95 mph Wednesday night, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame’s Justin Lee has speed that is drawing the attention of the pros. His future college coach, UCLA’s John Savage, was sitting behind home plate for Lee’s game against Mission League rival Harvard-Westlake.

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

“I know they’re crap, so I just went straight in and just trusted my stuff,” Lee said.

Notre Dame scored twice in the first inning thanks to Harvard-Westlake’s ace Thomas Bridges, RBI singles from Ryan Limerock and Madden Ocko.

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

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

As usual in the Notre Dame versus Harvard-Westlake series, no wins come easily, so the Wolverines applied the pressure in the seventh against closer Levi Sterling. Will Gasparino, making his first appearance of the season after a broken hand, led off with a single and finished third with two outs. Cade Goldstein went 3-2 on Sterling and kept getting fouled by pitches before Sterling scored to end the game and save it.

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

(Craig Weston)

The two teams will be back in action Thursday and Friday at Harvard-Westlake.

First-year head coach Shaun Kort continues to create buzz in San Francisco. First, the Golden Knights lost to Harvard-Westlake and on Tuesday, they handed Sierra Canyon their first loss 3-0. Kalani Quiroz hit a two-run homer and was struck out. Caleb Thatcher threw five innings.

No. 1 Santa Margarita improved to 4-0 in the Trinity League and Division 1 champion JSerra dropped to 0-4 with a 7-1 win over the Lions. Collin Clark 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 scoreless innings.

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