Skip to main content

Johan Ceja's walk-off single lifts Birmingham baseball to 2-1 semifinal win over El Camino Real

Ceja's single came in the bottom of the seventh inning.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- For the fourth time in the last six years, Birmingham will play for a City title at Dodger Stadium. Johan Ceja lined a seventh inning walk-off single into right field to give the Patriots a 2-1 semifinal win over league rival El Camino Real on Wednesday night at USC. 

"I feel amazing," Ceja said. "But we're not done yet, we've got one more."

Birmingham scored the first run in the game in the bottom of the fifth inning when Patriots' head coach Matt Mowry brought in pinch hitter JB Dalumpines to hit for Ceja. Dalumpines, a JV call up, ripped an RBI triple over the El Camino Real right fielder's head bringing home Ernesto Martinez.

El Camino Real tied the game 1-1 in the top of the seventh inning when Birmingham starter Daniel Flores hit Ethan Granillo with the bases loaded. The Royals had the bases loaded with no outs in the frame, but only managed the one run. After Granillo was hit by the pitch, Josh Klein grounded into an inning ending double play. 

"That was a real test of these kids and how much they've battled throughout the season," Mowry said. "When they're in those positions, they've been in them throughout the year, they settle themselves down and were able to get out of it."

Read More

In the bottom of the seventh inning, El Camino Real starter Oscar Lopez gave up a single to Martinez after walking Collin Taylor. Sophomore Braden Sellz then came in to pitch to Ceja with runners on first and third.

"I was just looking for something that I could drive and was hoping we could get that run in," Ceja said. 

Mission accomplished. 

FIVE STAR PITCHING MATCHUP

Both Flores and Lopez pitched extremely well on Wednesday. Flores threw seven innings allowing just the one run on four hits with four strikeouts. Lopez threw 6 2/3 innings allowing one run on five hits with two strikeouts. 

BACK TO DODGER STADIUM FOR BIRMINGHAM

Saturday's title game against Chatsworth will be Birmingham's fourth in the past six years. The Patriots won City titles at Dodger Stadium in 2017, 2018 and 2019. They also won in 2014.