The Orange Coast League pennant drama came down to a 2-2 tie, bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the seventh and final inning in a Laguna homestand on Tuesday in Costa Mesa.
Erik Peruzzi hit a sharp ground ball that was bobbled, allowing runners to advance safely and scoring pitcher Keaton Jones, lifting Laguna to a 3-2 victory over Costa Mesa at Skipper Carrillo Field. The home squad flooded the field and celebrated with long-time fan Skipper as the long drought finally ended.
Mustang pitcher PJ Mahoney pitched a brilliant game, frustrating Laguna hitters who were held to seven hits. Mesa also played tough defense, turning a number of Laguna hits off the outfield fence into singles rather than the usual two-base hits.
The final inning was down to one out remaining when Keaton Jones started the rally with an off-the-fence single. Austin Paxton followed suit, but the Mesa defense kept the runners in check on the bases. The Mustangs then intentionally walked Chris Paul sending Peruzzi to the plate for the final heroics.
Jones went the distance for the Breakers (22-2, 12-0) for his second complete game and his fifth straight win. Chris Paul (7-1) will start this Friday at Costa Mesa (10-12, 5-7) in the final contest with the Mustangs this season. The hard luck hosts have lost four league games by one run and should give Laguna another tough battle.
Next week Laguna will close out the regular season with Saddleback (0-12, 3-19) at the Roadrunner campus on Tuesday and Thursday, May 12, at Laguna.
Forty-eight seasons and 16 coaches later, Laguna Beach is finally league champions in baseball.
Last Thursday, Laguna established a number of single game records with a 32-2 victory over Godinez (5-7, 10-12) at the local field. Laguna pounded out a record 17 runs in the first inning. Breakers also recorded a school game record for hits (27), runs (32) and margin of victory (30) in the 4 ½ inning affair. Chris Paul scored five runs, hit two home runs including a grand slam, drove in 8 runs. Thirteen different players scored runs in the game for Laguna. Chris Paul pitched the first four innings for the win, Jackson Rees came in relief. The Grizzlies were limited to three hits.