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Lemmerman's blast wins it

BASEBALL: Elliott hits three-run homer to tie, then CdM senior leads the Sea Kings to a big 8-6 win over Laguna Hills.

March 24, 2007|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

CORONA DEL MAR — Creeping down the third-base line in the bottom of the seventh inning was Corona del Mar High Coach John Emme.

He yelled at Austin Elliott to change his approach at the plate.

"Don't try to do it all by yourself," said Emme after watching his No. 3 hitter go down 1-2 in the count with runners on the corners and the Sea Kings trailing Laguna Hills by three runs.

Elliott didn't listen.

The senior blasted a three-run home run over the center-field fence to tie the game and force extra innings.

To Jake Lemmerman the feat wasn't unusual for Elliott, saying it was going to be either Elliott or him lifting CdM in the Pacific Coast League game at home.

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Lemmerman received his opportunity in the eighth and he came through with two outs. The Duke-bound senior shortstop hit a walk-off two-run home run to right-center field, as the Sea Kings beat the Hawks, 8-6, Friday.

As Lemmerman came around third base, Emme's eyes were bulging out. Amazing is how Emme said he felt after the come-from-behind victory over the CIF Southern Section Division III fifth-ranked program.

No. 8 CdM (7-2, 2-0 in league) won its seventh consecutive game, and handed Laguna Hills (7-4, 0-2) its second extra-inning loss this week.

The only thing satisfying to Laguna Hills Coach Pete Tereschuk was that this game wasn't decided in the 12th inning.

"We gave that game away," said Tereschuk, referring to the Hawks giving up six runs in the 12th and seeing University win, 8-2, Monday. "We got enough [big] hits [one two-run home run, two solo home runs and two doubles] to win the game. We've got to play better defense and finish the game.

"Up by three and we need three outs to finish the game."

Starter Jeff Rauh couldn't get outs for Laguna Hills with a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh.

The junior tried, but appeared worn out and lost control against the defending league champs. He hit leadoff hitter Vinnie St. John, and then threw back-to-back wild pitches that allowed St. John to scoot to third.

Out came Rauh after six solid innings, and entered Alex St. Pierre, one of the Hawks' aces.

Three pitches later, Lemmerman found himself on board via walk for the second time.

Elliott stepped up, and St. Pierre jumped ahead of him by fooling him with a couple of changeups. Then Emme advised the team's RBI king to make sure to just get a hit and not a home run, because as he said, "you never hit home runs when you're trying."

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