Brandon Dieter Shines for South Hills in Win Archbishop McCarthy

CARY, N.C.—The first quarterfinal game of the National High School Invitational didn’t disappoint Thursday, with a top-25 matchup resulting in a 5-1 victory for No. 17 South Hills (West Covina, Calif.) over No. 1 Archbishop McCarthy (Southwest Ranches, Fla.).

It was a coming out party of sorts for South Hills righty Brandon Dieter. While Dieter—a junior two-way player committed to Stanford—was well-known coming into the NHSI, he elevated his national recognition after a four-hit, one-run performance against one of the best lineups in the country.

“(Dieter was) phenomenal from right out of the gate,” said South Hills shortstop Jacob Amaya, who went 1-for-3 with a bases clearing double. “From pitch one he was on.”

Dieter showcased his four-pitch mix from the first inning, and sat in the mid-80s throughout his seven innings of work (touching as high as 88) and getting his fastball up to 87 in the seventh inning. The Cardinal commit throws a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, curveball and changeup and used all of those offerings to stymie McCarthy, including a stretch from the fourth inning through the seventh where he retired 11 straight batters.

“I didn’t know that actually,” Dieter said when told of the feat. “Try not to keep track of that stuff, just go out there and get them one by one . . . Being able to play the No. 1 team in the nation and end up beating them—it’s a great feeling.”

Dieter had been searching for a way to get the ball against McCarthy since last week, when he was pestering South Hills coach Darren Murphy about what his schedule was going to be.

“He was trying to maneuver with me to find out when he was throwing, and I knew he wanted this start,” Murphy said. ” . . . This is Brandon. I think today you saw one of America’s best pitchers. That team is absolutely loaded on the offensive end and he stifled them all day.”

Dieter needed 97 pitches to complete the game, allowing just four hits and one earned run, while striking out six batters and walking one.

He also helped get the offense rolling in the second inning, leading off with a single and later scored on a ground ball from left fielder Cole Francis.

Amaya, the leadoff hitter for South Hills, blew the game open with a three-run double in the sixth inning to give Dieter some insurance—insurance he would never need, but there it was anyways.

“Jacob’s our sparkplug at the top and makes every play at short,” Murphy said, “so enough can’t be said about his defensive leadership out there . . . Making every routine play, and batting at the top of the order.”

South Hills third baseman Jacob Dominguez had a multi-hit game for the Huskies, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, while first basemen Karlos Morales—who is coming off a strong pitching performance of his own—tripled and scored in the fourth inning.

McCarthy righty Daniel Federman, a Miami commit, threw five innings and struck out four batters for the Mavericks. Federman’s fastball sat in the upper 80s throughout the game, touching 90 regularly. He pitched out of a no-out, bases loaded jam in the fourth inning, allowing just one run to score before ending the frame with a strikeout and a pair of flyouts.

With the win, South Hills advances to the semifinals of the NHSI and further pushes its case as one of the top programs in the country.

“To get invited here, only 16 teams do,” Murphy said. “And to get a chance to play the No. 1 team, and play an A-game, it’s something that we said we all wanted South Hills to get to.

“We wanted South Hills to become a national power. And I think we’re stating our case this week.”

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