Cathedral Catholic opened the season in grand fashion as the Dons defeated their perennial nemesis to win one of the county's most prestigious tournaments.
The Dons went 6-0 in the season-opening Hilltop Lolita's tournament at Hilltop High of Chula Vista, highlighted by a 14-6 trouncing of defending Div. III state champion Poway in the March 21 title game at Hilltop High.
Tommy Cheek led the Dons, batting .444 (8 for 18) in the tournament with a homer and 11 RBI.
Parker Hipp led the Dons in the Poway game, going 2 for 4 with a triple and three RBI.
"The main reason for playing in the Hilltop tournament is that it attracts the best programs in county, and whether we win or not it helps prepare us for (Western) league and the (San Diego Section) playoffs," Dons coach Gary Remiker said.
But winning the tournament was especially sweet for the Dons, who were making their third consecutive appearance in the tournament finals. Poway beat the Dons in last season's title game.
"We definitely wanted another opportunity to win the tournament and we definitely wanted another opportunity to beat Poway," Remiker said.
The Dons outscored their tournament opponents 53-22.
They defeated Fallbrook 8-3 in the quarterfinals on March 17 and then beat El Capitan of Lakeside 6-5 in the semifinals two days later.
Geoff Rocha was 2-for-3 with three RBI in the Fallbrook game.
Dons starter Jonathan Meyer was credited with the win after striking out four batters and allowing three runs on three hits and one walk in five innings.
Daniel Camarena struck out four batters and allowed one hit and one walk in two innings for the save.
Tommy Cheek was 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBI for the Dons in the El Capitan game.
Camarena pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the save. Camarena and Danny Tyson combined with Danny Tyson for three shutout innings in relief of starter Ryan Wilkins.
Tyson pitched five innings for the win in the Poway game.
The Dons field one of the most talent-rich teams in program history, Remiker said, noting seven seniors have already committed to Div. I colleges and another player is being recruited.
Santa Fe Christian went 3-0 to win the Christian Patriot Tournament to extend its winning streak to four games.
Ethen Ogden had two doubles and Barrett Floyd and Nelson Siu each drove in two runs to lead the Eagles to an 8-3 victory over Bishop's of La Jolla in the March 18 title game.
Starter Luc DeWulf allowed one run on five hits for the win.
Nolan Gannon had three hits including a double to lead the Eagles to a 10-4 victory over Lincoln of San Diego on March 16.
Starter Nolan Gannon was credited with the win after allowing two runs and five hits.
The Eagles opened the tournament with a 6-0 victory over Horizon of San Diego on March 14.
San Diego Jewish Academy continued its red-hot start, winning the first three games at the Eagles Classic to extend their winning streak to start the season to six games.