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Mustangs even series

Costa Mesa scores three runs in the seventh to top rival Estancia and move into first place in league.

April 20, 2010|By Steve Virgen

COSTA MESA — As the defending Orange Coast League champion, there’s a sense of pride and ownership the Costa Mesa High baseball team possesses in each league game this year.

That status has been put to the test this season, and there was yet another challenge entering the seventh inning against crostown rival Estancia Tuesday. But Garrett Hirsch and the Mustangs were there to signal the league title goes through Costa Mesa. With runners on the corners, Hirsch laid down an excellent bunt that led to a two-base error, scoring two runs. Hirsch scored on a Brandon Kelly bunt to lead to a 7-4 victory that moved the Mustangs to first place in the league.

“It was a perfect bunt, right where we wanted it to be,” Costa Mesa Coach Jim Kiefer said of Hirsch’s bunt that rolled toward third. The Estancia pitcher picked it up and threw it over the first baseman’s head, as Andrew Fulkerson and Tyler Sheffner scored. Fulkerson singled to reach, while Sheffner got on on a bunt that caused an error by the pitcher.

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“You ask any kid on the team, they’re aware that we’re chasing a second league title in a row,” Kiefer said. “But more importantly after losing to them the first time [4-3, March 19] and they played so well, it was a matter of responding. There was pride involved, but we want to stay the course.”

The Mustangs (12-8, 5-2 in league) would also like to keep the Paul Troxel Trophy, the prize for the winner of the city series between the rivals. Pitcher P.J. Maloney certainly helped put Costa Mesa in position to reach that goal Friday at 3:15 p.m. at Mesa. He improved to 6-2 after his complete game in which he struck out four and scattered five hits. He induced two flyouts to end the game as the Eagles left two stranded in the seventh.

While the Mustangs played sound defense, they also had Kelly and Brian Waldron contributing on offense. Kelly went two for four with a double, two runs batted in and a run scored. Waldron also went two for four with a double.

“We were grittty and we played tough,” Kiefer said. “It was a good team win, everyone contributed.”

Costa Mesa needed that type of effort with Estancia (11-9, 3-2) leading, 3-1, through three innings. But the Mustangs scored three in the fourth. The Eagles, who are amid a turnaround year, having won eight games last seaseason, tied it up, 4-4, in the sixth after Josh Dominguez singled in Ryan Cherney, who reached on an infield single.

Cherney went two for three. He had a two-run double in the first. Matt Carlyle also doubled for Estancia and scored two runs.

“You’ve got to give a lot of credit to them,” Estancia Coach Matt Sorensen said. “They took advantage of our bunt defense. That’s a good job on their part.”

Orange Coast League

Costa Mesa 7, Estancia 4

SCORE BY INNINGS

Maloney and Hirsch; Boselo, DeFrenza (4), Gonzalez (5), Rios (7) and Dominguez. W – Maloney, 6-2. L – Rios, 1-1. 2B – Kelly (CM) 2, Waldron (CM); Cherney (E), Carlyle (E).


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