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Eagles take Bell again

High School Baseball

Ross tosses three-hitter and Estancia shuts out Costa Mesa to take first two games of the rivalry and Paul Troxel Trophy for fifth straight year.

March 19, 2014|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • Estancia High's Jackson Letterman, left, Zach Shafer, center, and Dylan Laurent, right, celebrate after Letterman secured the last out to beat Costa Mesa, 2-0, on Wednesday in the second game of a three-game series.
Estancia High's Jackson Letterman, left, Zach… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

A couple of times on Wednesday morning, Estancia High Coach Nate Goellrich checked on Tyler Ross. He texted Ross to calm him down before his second career start on the mound.

Ross admitted to Goellrich after he made his debut last week that he wanted to throw up. That's how nervous Ross felt.

Before Ross went back out there to pitch again, to face rival Costa Mesa at home, Goellrich assured the freshman.

"There's nobody better for us in this game. We have a chance to win the series today," Goellrich said of the texts he sent Ross.

Goellrich was right. Ross threw a gem, a three-hit shutout and the Eagles edged the Mustangs, 2-0, making it two close wins in as many days to claim the Battle for the Bell series for the fifth straight season.

The Paul Troxel Trophy, the hardware the rival schools play for each season, was on display behind the backstop. The Eagles didn't celebrate with the trophy after defeating Costa Mesa for the 12th straight time. They have to wait until Friday, when the three-game Orange Coast League series wraps up.

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Win or lose, Estancia will ring the trophy at Costa Mesa.

"A sweep," Ross said is what the Eagles want against Costa Mesa.

The right-hander put Estancia (3-4, 2-0 in league) in position to do so. Ross went right at the Mustangs, throwing 62 of his 95 pitches for strikes, and he became the first pitcher to blank Costa Mesa (2-5, 0-2) this season.

Ross (1-1) didn't need much run support with the way he pitched, striking out three and walking just one. He performed much better than in his 5 2/3-inning effort in which he allowed six runs in a 7-0 loss against La Habra Whittier Christian during the Newport Elks Tournament.

For the most part, the defense made the plays behind Ross, committing just one error. The miscue came in the top of the seventh, after Ross got the leadoff batter to pop up to center field. With the game-tying run at the plate, Ross got the next two hitters to fly out.

"My arm feels like I can go another two [innings]," Ross said.

There was no need for the Eagles to go into extra innings against Costa Mesa again. They went eight innings on Tuesday at Costa Mesa, before pulling out a 6-5 win.

The first two contests have been winnable ones for the Mustangs. In the previous two seasons, not many were against Estancia. The Eagles outscored the Mustangs, 76-9, in six games.

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