The Patriots (10-2), ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division III coaches' poll, took sole possession of first place. It was supposed to be a battle of two undefeated league teams, but defending champion Beckman came out swinging in the first inning.
The fourth-ranked Sea Kings (9-3, 4-1 in league) fell behind, 6-0, and could not fight back. That was not going to happen against Kaprielian. It was almost unfair the way he mixed in a changeup in between 89 mile-per-hour fastballs en route to striking out eight.
This was CdM's first chance to see Kaprielian (4-0) live this year. The Sea Kings missed him the last time these two programs met on March 12 in the Newport Elks Tournament Foothill Bracket title game at CdM. The Sea Kings pounded Beckman, 18-14, in the finale, producing four doubles, three home runs and one triple.
What a difference one pitcher makes.
Kaprielian allowed just five hits, none for extra bases, and he came close to shutting out a potent offense.
A throwing error allowed the Sea Kings' leadoff man in the fifth inning to reach first base safely. Michael Salam came around and scored on a groundball, but Kaprielian had more than a comfortable lead at 7-1.
Sure, Kaprielian lost his second league shutout bid, but he was more than OK with that. What mattered more was that the Patriots avenged their loss to CdM from three weeks ago.
"Everyone was swinging for the fence and just hitting the ball out," Kaprielian said of Beckman's game against CdM last month. "It was hard to watch because … you feel like you can make an impact for the team, but we got them back.