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Eagles' win has a bonus

High School Baseball

Estancia clinches third in league for playoff berth and knocks rival Costa Mesa from postseason consideration.

May 10, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
(Don Leach / Daily…)

COSTA MESA — Whenever Costa Mesa and Estancia meet in a high school baseball game, the rivals play for city bragging rights.

More was at stake Tuesday at Costa Mesa.

An Estancia win meant it moved closer to clinching the Orange Coast League's third and final automatic CIF Southern Section Division IV playoff berth.

A Costa Mesa victory and it still had an outside shot to make the postseason with one league game left.

The Eagles made sure to end the Mustangs' season early.

There was a little dog barking in the bleachers on the home side in the sixth inning, but that was the only danger the Eagles felt late in the game. Their coach, Matt Sorensen, did not even stick around for the bottom of the seventh inning.

Without their leader, the Eagles took care of business.

Estancia claimed third place in league and kept the rivalry's Paul Troxel Trophy after beating the Mustangs, 8-6. The Eagles earned the league's final postseason entry after Calvary Chapel picked up a 9-2 win against Godinez, which entered Tuesday tied for third with Estancia.

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The Eagles won the Battle for the Bell with its second victory against Costa Mesa this season. Unlike the first meeting between the two schools, the Eagles did not have to rally in the seventh to prevail. They led from start to finish, eliminating Costa Mesa from reaching the playoffs for a fifth straight season.

Next for Estancia (12-12, 7-7 in league) is a home date against the Mustangs (10-14, 5-9) in the regular-season finale. Dave Daniels, one of the assistants who took over for Sorensen after he left before the final three outs were recorded because he had to attend class at National University, said the Eagles have a lot to play for on Thursday.

"We'd like to finish the sweep on Mesa this year," Daniels said. "I think the kids are really hoping they can do that. We control our destiny with the playoffs [because we beat Godinez two out of three times and have the tiebreaker against the Grizzlies]."

Estancia fell short of sweeping the three-game series against Costa Mesa last season, when the Eagles won the league title for the first time since 1991.

The Eagles cannot catch up to first-place Laguna Beach (24-2, 14-0), but they are going to join the Breakers in the playoffs.

Estancia came out ready after the public address announcer told everyone what the Eagles and Mustangs were playing for on Tuesday.

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