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Mustangs hold on for win

High School Baseball

Costa Mesa nearly lets big lead slip against Saddleback, but records fifth straight win.

March 22, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
(Scott Smeltzer…)

COSTA MESA — On the back of the jerseys of Costa Mesa High's opponent were huge numbers.

Through five innings Tuesday, the Mustangs had the big number that mattered most, eleven runs.

The Mustangs were on their way at home to shutting out Saddleback. Coach Jim Kiefer pulled starter Tyler Sheffner after four strong innings and his replacement, Logan Benter, after one inning in relief.

Saddleback managed just two hits before the top of the sixth. Costa Mesa helped the Roadrunners reach base in the final two innings because of hit batters, walks and errors. Nine runs came across.

Costa Mesa almost let one slip away against a team that only won once in league last season, and just twice overall.

The Mustangs hung on and won the Orange Coast League game, 11-9, extending their winning streak to five games. In the first two games in league play, Costa Mesa has been involved in some high-scoring affairs.

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The Mustangs have been on the winning side each time. Kiefer hopes the latest one taught his players a lesson.

"In a situation like that, Saddleback wakes up, does a good job and battles its way back into the game, we just have to play through it," Kiefer said. "We just have to battle through the situation. You're going to deal with adversity. That's one of the things we talked about with our kids, 'Nothing's ever easy.'"

Scoring runs has been for the Mustangs (6-2, 2-0 in league). They have recorded 29 runs in the past two league contests.

Costa Mesa appeared to be the second team to welcome Saddleback to the Orange Coast League by blowing the Roadrunners (2-6, 0-2) out.

Calvary Chapel trounced Saddleback, 15-0, last Friday. Unlike the league opener at home, Saddleback rallied on the road late after going down, 11-0, in the fifth inning.

Kiefer was impressed with the Roadrunners, who used to be a member of the Golden West League.

"They were very tenacious. That's what I liked about them," Kiefer said. "They just kept playing for seven innings."

The Roadrunners wanted to go extra innings. They had a shot.

In the seventh inning, Saddleback had runners on third and second and the tying run at the plate with two outs. At the plate was clean-up hitter Roger Salgado.

By this time, Kiefer had his ace, PJ Maloney, on the mound. The right-hander was slated to start Friday against Calvary Chapel, but Kiefer wanted Maloney to save the game for Costa Mesa.

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