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Sailors salvage split

High School Baseball

Behind Mestrin's big hit, Newport Harbor rallies in seventh to split Battle of the Bay doubleheader with Corona del Mar.

March 15, 2011|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com
(Scott Smeltzer…)

CORONA DEL MAR — The deuces truly were wild on Newport Harbor High junior Brendan Mestrin.

There were two balls, two strikes, two outs and a 2-and-2 count. Mestrin, the second baseman who wears jersey No. 2 and bats second in the order, was trying to bring in teammate Max Gerard from second base.

Mestrin and the Sailors were down to their last strike in the top of the seventh inning. But Mestrin saw the fastball and did perhaps the logical thing, hitting a big two-bagger to tie the score.

Newport Harbor hung on against its rival Corona del Mar, winning, 5-4, to salvage a split of the Battle of the Bay doubleheader Tuesday afternoon at CdM.

The Sea Kings had taken the first game, 6-3, and were threatening to sweep before Mestrin's heroics.

"I knew I had to get him in somehow," Mestrin said. "I was putting a lot of pressure on myself but I just came through with two strikes on me."

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The double to center tied the score at 3-3, but the Sailors weren't done. CdM walked cleanup hitter Matt Carpenter to load the bases. The next pitch also put a runner on, but this one wasn't intentional.

Newport Harbor junior Cory Kroeger was hit by the pitch in the mid-section, forcing in another run and giving the Sailors (3-4) the lead. They added an insurance run when Patrick Overstreet reached on an infield error.

Corona del Mar (5-2) scored in the bottom of the inning when Aaron White hit a lead-off single. He went to second on an error, to third on a wild pitch and was brought home on Josh Harrison's sacrifice fly. But the Sea Kings couldn't score again off Newport reliever Jordan Desguin, who got the win pitching two innings in relief.

It was a frustrating second game of the doubleheader for CdM, coming off winning the Newport Elks Tournament Foothill Bracket. The Sea Kings, ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division III coaches' poll, got on the board on Andrew Machoskie's solo homer in the second inning. They had taken a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth on back-to-back solo home runs by Brian Ford and Will Morrow.

CdM also had chances to extend its lead in the sixth. With one out, Ford (three for four) and Morrow (two for three) both singled. They advanced into scoring position on a double-steal, but Desguin got the second out when the home-plate umpire ruled Brent Lawson hadn't quite held up his swing with two strikes.

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