Corona Panthers Baseball Wins the CIF Southern Section


In the days of private high schools getting all the money and fame in regards to their athletic programs in Southern California, Corona High School beat that stigma on Saturday night with a 5-0 victory over Harvard Westlake in Lake Elsinore to win the CIF-SS Championship. This was their first championship since 1998.

Corona came up clutch with their highest team batting average since April 22 against Roosevelt. The team batted .391 backing up their star pitcher, Ethan Schiefelbein, who pitched a complete game shutout on the biggest stage. He recorded nine strikeouts without walking a single batter.

TCU commit Sam Burgess led the offense with a massive 3-run home run to right field. He led the team with three runs batted in. It was definitely a special game to end his high school career.

The scary thing about Corona is that they are just getting started. More than half of their championship lineup is returning to Corona next year.

Harvard-Westlake, even with how many top prospects they have, were not match for Corona Saturday night. It goes to show that the legacy of a school does not matter in regards to winning a CIF-SS Championship.

On paper, Hard-Westlake looks more talented. The problem that brings to a team is over confidence. Anyone who follows Southern California high school sports knows that talent is widespread throughout. The Panthers showed that hard work along with talent usually wins.

Both teams had grueling schedules this year from multiple tournaments to facing the best teams in the nation in their own backyard. There is no doubt that the game being in Lake Elsinore made it very similar to a Corona home game.

Corona also is now the first No. 1 seed to win a CIF-SS Division I championship since 2002. That should show you how tough it is to win in this region. Corona heads into the offseason after a year seeing them go 30-3.

Harvard-Westlake’s star, Bryce Rainer, was a non-factor going one for three with two strikeouts.

This was easily Corona’s most talented team in its history. Commits to LSU, TCU, and UCLA, among others, were on this roster. Corona, arguably, played their best game of the year, but Harvard-Westlake deserves a round of applause for their season as well.

On July 14, you may hear some of the names called on both of these rosters during the 2024 MLB Draft. These young stars have big choices to make in the coming months if they rather go to college or go straight to Major League Baseball. You can see that on MLB Network. Now it’s onto the next chapter.

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