Steven Harrison hit a solo home run (# 6) in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Breakers (18-8) to a 5-4 victory over Victor Valley (10-12) Tuesday, May 15, at Skipper Carrillo Field in a Southern Section CIF Division 4 wild card contest.
Laguna started slowly as the Jackrabbits took an early 3-0 lead before Laguna climbed back into the contest. Alex Iannotti also had a round-tripper in the game, Kurt Rebone picked up the win in relief.
Breakers face the division’s second best team La Salle on Thursday, May 17, in Pasadena. Laguna’s season may not quite match last year’s incredible 27-3 run but still ranks second best in the 74 seasons of baseball at the school. In CIF play, Laguna is now 5-7 in all time CIF play and has made the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
Breakers hosted their first playoff game this past Tuesday but were no match for Silverado, the Desert Sky League at-large team that battered the Breakers 12-3 on the Thurston Field. Laguna finished their most successful season ever with a 7-3 league mark (ties school record) and a 15-8 overall mark best ever in the 28 seasons the sport has been played at the high school. Coach Alan Ludloff has continued the remarkable turnaround of the sport at Laguna. A number of key players return
La Quinta/Westminster ended the second-ranked Breakers’ dream of another CIF finals with a 10-8 win in the D-4 quarterfinals this past Tuesday on the Aztec’s courts. Laguna had advanced to the match with wins over Schurr (10-8) on May 9 and a 15-3 victory over Oak Hills on May 11. Laguna finishes the season at 11-9 under first year coach Don Davis.
Laguna’s quest for a fourth straight state regional title came apart on the floor of West Ranch High School in Valencia on Saturday as the Wildcats rallied from a 19-13 deficit to defeat Laguna 26-24 in the second set to tie the match and start the unraveling of the Laguna season.
Breakers started on fire in the SS CIF D-II quarterfinal contest, cruising to an easy 25-16 win over the tall squad from Stevenson Ranch in the first set and seemed in complete control. Jackson Pries was effective from the opposite position with seven kills in the win.
Set two seemed headed for another Laguna victory when hitting errors and four serve-receive errors knocked the wheels off the team’s confidence. Without good passing, the sets were off and Laguna struggled to execute plays. Breakers trailed set three until they were able to tie the contest at 15 behind the serving of Grif Fair. Wildcats stormed back to tie at 22 winning on two Laguna hitting errors and a player slip on the court for a 25-23 win.
In the final set, Laguna appeared to regain control taking an early 11-4 lead, but host West Ranch kept winning the long rallies as they dug many hard hits from Laguna to battle back and tie the contest at 20. The set ended at 25-23 as Breakers could not make the plays down the stretch to win.
The 2012 season ends at 22-9. Laguna needed to win to qualify for the state regional playoffs.
Breakers lose two of the eight players in starting rotation, but the holes are big with Austin Hillemann, their top serve receive passer and No. 2 kill and serving leader, as well as Jack Winn, the top server and a great defensive player at opposite. Winn had 11 digs against West Ranch while Hillemann had 10. Weston Barnes led the match in kills with 17, Jackson Pries had 13 while Hillemann added 10.