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High Schools: Title hopes alive

April 09, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • Estancia High's Andres Hernandez is a key to the success of the Eagles in the Orange Coast League.
Estancia High's Andres Hernandez is a key to the… (KENT TREPTOW, Daily…)

Four of the five local high school baseball programs played their second game in the Beach Pit Classic on Monday.

When the four-day tournament ends on Wednesday, Corona del Mar, Estancia, Newport Harbor and Costa Mesa will return to play in their respective leagues next week.

For Sage Hill, the only local team not in the tournament, league restarts Tuesday. The Lightning, ranked No. 10 in CIF Southern Section Division 6, are in a battle for first in the Academy League right away.

Sage Hill is at defending champion Oxford Academy for a 3 p.m. showdown between two 4-1 teams.

Estancia and Corona del Mar are still in contention for first place in their leagues, while Newport Harbor and Costa Mesa are far from the top in their leagues.

The Eagles are in second place in the Orange Coast League at 5-2, one game back of Calvary Chapel.

The Sea Kings share second place in the Pacific Coast League with University at 4-3. The two teams trail defending champion Beckman by two games.

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The Sailors find themselves in last place in the Sunset League at 1-6.

The Mustangs are in the cellar in the Orange Coast League at 0-7.

The Eagles have excelled under first-year coach Nate Goellrich. They have a quality shot at winning the Orange Coast League for the second time in three years.

With Estancia, it starts with pitching. Senior Andres Hernandez is the ace with a 3-1 record and 1.71 earned-run average.

The Sea Kings have one of the best right-handers in Orange County in Andrew McCormack (5-1, 0.95 ERA). The senior tried to keep CdM, ranked No. 5 in Division 3, within striking distance of third-ranked Beckman, but the Patriots beat the Sea Kings twice last week.

Coach John Emme's club should return to the postseason in Division 3 after missing it last season for only the second time in his 15 years at CdM.

The Sea Kings will need help from other teams to have any hope to win the Pacific Coast League crown for the first time since 2006.

Sage Hill is looking to end Oxford Academy's two-year run as the outright Academy League champion. The Lightning have turned to a freshman.

Kellen Ochi leads Sage Hill in pitching (3-1, 2.50 ERA) and he is one of their better hitters (.412 average).

Newport Harbor's Ethan Cochran keeps inching closer to the state's top two all-time marks in the discus throw.

He threw a personal-best 209 feet, eight inches to win the Arcadia Invitational on Saturday.

Cochran, who holds the nation's top mark this season, is gunning for the best mark in the state's history.

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