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Costa Mesa 6, Laguna Beach 1:

Mesa sends message

BASEBALL: It’s still early, but Mustangs stand alone atop Orange Coast League after impressive win over Laguna Beach.

April 02, 2009|By Matt Szabo

COSTA MESA — Jim Kiefer views Thursday’s big win like a pundit commenting on the stock market’s recent rally.

The Costa Mesa High baseball coach is cautiously optimistic. When your team hasn’t won a league title in 31 years, it’s kind of hard not to be.

“What we’ve learned is it’s not over until the season’s over,” said Kiefer, whose team lost its last three league games last year to finish second. “We’re happy with how we played today, but we know there’s a lot of baseball left.”

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But if the Mustangs keep playing like they did in the 6-1 triumph over Laguna Beach, things are looking good. The convincing win in a battle of league unbeaten teams puts Costa Mesa right where it wants to be after the first round of Orange Coast League play: alone in first place.

Junior second baseman Brian Waldron, who went three for three with a double, a walk and two runs scored, is also aware of the importance.

“We’ve finally finished off the first round of league,” Waldron said. “It’s good to send a message to everybody that we’re legit, and that we’re at the top of the league. They’re going to have to beat us. That’s the big thing, I think, for this win.”

The Mustangs (7-4, 4-0 in league) got started early against Laguna starter Casey Miller, who came in with a 1.84 ERA. Junior Brandon Kelly opened the game with a double, took third on Waldron’s single and scored on senior Mikey Molina’s grounder to second.

In the third inning, Waldron and Molina both singled. Two outs later, junior pitcher Tyler Peterson helped his own cause with a two-RBI double to straightaway center.

Peterson didn’t need too much help, though, with the way he was throwing. The Breakers (7-5, 3-1) scored their only run in the fourth when Miller’s single scored Gabe Stansbury. But Mike Maxsenti then popped out to Waldron, who made a diving catch and easily doubled off Miller, who was attempting to steal.

Other than that inning, no Laguna Beach player got as far as third base.

Laguna Beach Coach Jeff Sears said he thought his team was a bit anxious.

“I think our guys were a little more tight than [Costa Mesa],” Sears said. “They were ‘loosey-goosey,’ and we weren’t.”

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