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Laguna walks past Estancia

High School Baseball

Estancia falls to Breakers, who improve to 6-0 in Orange Coast League play.

April 12, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
(Kent Treptow / Daily…)

LAGUNA BEACH — The Estancia High pitching staff combined to walk eight batters and hit two on Tuesday. Half of those runners found their way home at Laguna Beach.

Six games into Orange Coast League play, the Breakers appear as if they are going to walk away with the league title. They sure walked past the defending league champion Eagles, staying perfect in league with a 9-6 victory.

Laguna Beach was due for a win after losing its first two games of the season last week while in nonleague action. Estancia sure helped the Breakers, who won their 16th game overall, tying them for the single-season school record for wins.

Last season's team set the mark. The current team's goal is to claim the program's first league crown in 48 years.

The Breakers are off to a 6-0 start in league, outscoring the opposition, 73-16, during the stretch. No team in league has challenged Laguna Beach (16-2), ranked fourth in the CIF Southern Section Division IV coaches' poll.

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"We are going to challenge ourselves," said Laguna Beach Coach Jeff Sears, who believes his team must sure up its defense. "We let people [back] in the game a lot. Our defense isn't as good as it should be right now. It's what we work on. It's what we pride ourselves on."

The Breakers almost left themselves down with shoddy defense in the top of the seventh inning. An error gave Estancia (8-8, 3-3 in league) a chance to rally.

Their star, Santa Barbara-bound senior Chris Paul, turned in the Breakers' fourth miscue of the game.

Down, 9-5, with runners on second and first and no outs, Alex Trancoso hit a routine grounder to Paul at shortstop. The ball went underneath Paul's glove and toward the outfield, allowing Matt Carlyle to race home to cut the deficit to three.

The Eagles had the game-tying run at the plate in cleanup hitter Andres Hernandez. The junior fell behind on the count against reliever Keaton Jones before stroking the ball for a sure hit to right field, but second baseman Robbie McInerny had other plans.

McInerny dived to his left and gloved the grounder. He quickly rose to his feet and fired a throw to first base to rob Hernandez of an RBI single.

With runners in scoring position, Jones struck out the next batter and then induced a groundball to McInerny for the final out. Jones picked up the save after two innings of work.

"Robbie made a great play in a tough position," said Sears, who saw his starter, sophomore Jackson Rees, improve to 5-0 after throwing five innings.

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