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Pupil now mound master

Estancia senior pitcher DeFrenza shows he has absorbed coach’s lessons in quarterfinal triumph.

April 05, 2010|By Barry Faulkner

COSTA MESA — Estancia High senior pitcher Marc DeFrenza has learned much from Eagles Coach Matt Sorensen.

Sorensen, who starred on the mound at Cal State Fullerton, has taken DeFrenza under his wing the last three baseball seasons at Estancia, as well as coaching DeFrenza the last two summers on a Connie Mack team.

And while Sorensen generously praises DeFrenza’s progress as a pupil, the educational process remains ongoing.

So it was that seconds into DeFrenza’s postgame interview with a reporter after his complete-game five-hitter in a 2-1 victory over visiting Ventura in the quarterfinals of the Beach Pit Classic Monday, Sorensen interrupted, pulled DeFrenza aside and offered more council about speaking with the media.

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On the field, however, Sorensen pointed out that the crafty right-hander requires increasingly fewer pointers.

“Marc has worked really hard to get where he’s at,” Sorensen said. “We’re on the same page now. I can see he almost thinks with me, now. He answers my questions before I can even ask them. He coaches himself, now.”

DeFrenza was indeed masterful against the Cougars, helping Estancia (10-6) advance to the semifinals. The Eagles will play host to Canyon of Canyon Country today at 2 p.m.

DeFrenza toured the strike zone with a mix of pitches Monday, bending his breaking ball over the outside corner, nipping the inside corner with his fastball and going up the ladder to help record eight strikeouts.

DeFrenza allowed only one runner past second base and was able to use the strikeout to thwart the Cougars’ most serious scoring threats.

DeFrenza, who has one shutout this season, lost the chance to double that total when a leadoff walk came around to score on a single and a wild pitch in the sixth.

By that time, the Eagles had opened a 2-0 lead, thanks to a solo homer in the fourth by junior Victor Trujillo and a run-producing double by senior Josh Dominguez in the fifth.

DeFrenza, who held Ventura (5-6) hitless through three innings, pitched himself out of jams in his final four innings, stranding two runners each frame.

After allowing two singles to start the Ventura fourth, DeFrenza induced a fielder’s choice grounder and then fanned the next two hitters.

Two reached with two outs in the Ventura fifth, but a groundout delivered DeFrenza and his mates to the dugout.

He ended the game on a strikeout, which he celebrated with an exuberant pump of his fist.

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