Eagles fade in first round

Estancia starts strong in first playoff appearance in 16 years, but Colony takes over and holds on for win in CIF Division IV game.


COSTA MESA — More fans than the usual dozen, which includes the guy sitting on a raised bench in his backyard, showed up to watch Estancia High play.

The school set up extra bleachers behind the backstop to accommodate the large baseball crowd.

The numbers dwindled after the fourth inning Friday.

The Eagles fell behind by three runs. In the dugout, Coach Matt Sorensen tried to motivate his players.

"We've [rallied] several times actually by as much as five or six runs," Sorensen said. "We've been here before. I felt like a lot of the kids remembered that and they remembered the feeling and they knew how to do it."


The Eagles really had not experienced this stage.

The reason for the big fan turnout was simple. Estancia waited 16 years for this opportunity.

It didn't last long. The Eagles' first CIF Southern Section playoff appearance since 1994 lasted one round. Colony beat Estancia, 4-2, in a Division IV first-round game.

The Titans (17-9) ruined the home team's moment. They lined up for a team picture in shallow right field, where practically everyone making the drive to Estancia (17-11) from Ontario took pictures.

The photo session ended when a player reminded Coach Tom Keller of what awaited the Colony: traffic. They raced toward the bus, hoping the ride back home wasn't ugly.

It is better to be stuck in traffic than the first round again. For the first time in four seasons, the Titans advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

"This is a good step forward," Keller said.

Sorensen said you could say the same thing of the Eagles' season. They made strides in Sorensen's third season at the helm.

Two years ago, Estancia went winless in the Orange Coast League.

The Eagles this season won the league crown, the program's first since 1991.

They came out Friday trying to carry the momentum from winning the title in the league finale last week. Things began well for Estancia. Junior Matt Carlyle drove in the game's first run in the third inning.

Marc DeFrenza, who took the mound for the second straight game, shut down the second-place team from the Mt. Baldy League through three innings. The pitcher had eight days rest in between starts.

DeFrenza looked good, striking out three batters and allowing only two hits in the first three innings of work.

In the fourth, things got away from the right-handed senior. DeFrenza (9-4) gave up a single to the leadoff man and then walked back-to-back batters to load the bases.

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