Title Quest Ends a Run Short
By Frank Aronoff
Laguna’s quest to make their first Southern Section CIF finals in 76 seasons of baseball fell short on Tuesday, June 3, as the Breakers dropped a 4-3 decision in nine innings at Torrance High School.
Breakers built a 3-0 lead through five and ½ innings with Preston Grand Pre’s two doubles scoring two of the runs. Breakers other score came off a Cal Cochran hit in the fifth.
Grand Pre pitched but ran into trouble in the sixth inning, but by the time he was relieved, the score was tied at 3. Both teams brought in their top pitchers which extended play until the Tartans pulled off a game winning hit with two outs in the ninth.
Laguna finished the season with a school record tying 27-3 mark.
Earlier, Breakers won their first quarterfinal game since 1957 with a 5-3 win over second-seed Sonora last Friday, May 30, at the Raider’s La Habra campus. Breakers got on the scoreboard first when Grant Wilhelm doubled in the fourth inning. Will McInerny walked, Garrett Burk singled to load the bases. Freshman infielder Dante Faicchio singled home Wilhelm followed by Jake Smith’s two-RBI hit and the Breakers were up 3-0. In the bottom of the inning, Laguna almost gave it all back with two errors allowing two Sonora runs to score.
Into the final inning, Laguna still held the slim 3-2 lead desperately needing some insurance. Smith led off with a single. Preston Grand Pre advanced the runner followed by Cal Cochran beating out the toss to first. The needed blast came from Richie Nunis, who drilled a triple deep into left field scoring two runs to the cheers of the Laguna fans who made the trip. The hit by Nunis broke the season hit-record set by Chris Paul in 2011 playing 30 games. Nunis hit number 51 in playing in 29 contests.
Breakers still had to retire the side in the bottom of the inning to secure the win and it wasn’t easy. Wilhelm gave up a walk and two hits to load the bases, gave up a sacrifice fly to score one run, a fly to center that held the runners, another hit to load the bases again, and finally a short fly to left fielder Cal Cochran to seal the victory.
Grant Wilhelm went the distance for Laguna giving up five hits, two walks, striking out three. His earned- run scoreless streak ended at 39 innings when Sonora scored in the last inning but the senior pitcher still earned his school-record thirteenth win on the season in thirteen starts. Raiders still lead the all-time series with Laguna 8-2-2.
Statistical Leaders through May 30 (29 games)
Batting Average: .485 Grant Wilhelm, .481 Richie Nunis, .444 Dante Faicchio
Hits: 51 Richie Nunis (NEW SCHOOL RECORD), 48 – Grant Wilhelm, 42 – Preston Grand Pre
Runs Scored: 38 Preston Grand Pre
RBI’s : 46 Richie Nunis
Doubles : 19 Grant Wilhelm (NEW SCHOOL RECORD)
Triples 3 Richie Nunis
Home Runs: 6 Steven Harrison
Walks (BB) 25 Steven Harrison
Hit-by-Pitch 12 Steven Harrison (TIES SCHOOL RECORD)
Slugging % .773 Richie Nunis
On Base % .540 Steven Harrison
Stolen Bases 35 Preston Grand Pre (NEW SCHOOL RECORD)
Pitching Wins: 13 Grant Wilhelm (NEW SCHOOL RECORD)
Innings Pitched 74 Gant Wilhelm
Strikeouts 74 Grant Wilhelm
Earned Run Ave: 0.85 Grant Wilhelm,
Team ERA 1.58
Team Batting Average: .391 (12 of 14 players hitting above .300)
Team Victories: 27 (TIES SCHOOL RECORD)
Updated detailed individual baseball statistics are posted on the MaxPreps web-site:
Boys Volleyball (27-6, 10-0)
Laguna Captures a Record Fourth State Regional Title
The Breakers defeated ninth-ranked Saddleback Valley Christian 25-13, 25-15, 23-25, 25-11 to capture their fourth enrollment based state regional title in six seasons this past Saturday, May 31, at Cerritos College.
Laguna’s crown is the most by any school in this event and put the Breakers all-time record at 10-1 in five post-season appearances.
The first set was close early on but sharp passing by senior JP Wollam helped setters Alec Wulff and Cameron DePfyffer deliver the ball to Jack Wyett and Noah Blanton for a string of kills for the win. The second set was just a easy as Jake Hexberg’s serving and hitting broke a 6-6 tie to cruise to the set win. Laguna suffered two meltdowns in the third set with unforced errors falling behind by six points. A late rally just fell short with an unforced hitting error handing SVC the win. In the fourth set, Breakers came out focused with the blocking by Wyett and Blanton intimidating the Warriors from the start as Laguna left no-doubt who would win. The victory was the Breakers 21st in a best of five set match for the season tying the 1975 team for the most best-of-five match wins. Jack Wyett concluded his career at Laguna with 20 kills, Noah Blanton added 18, and Jake Hexberg 14. Saddleback Valley ended their season at 33-4.
Previously, Laguna advanced to the finals with a 27-25, 25-13, 25-23 sweep of Bishop Montgomery (20-10) on Thursday, May 29 at Dugger Gym. Laguna recorded a season high eight solo blocks and five tandem blocks to stifle the Knights. Jack Burgi, Wyett, Hexberg, and Blanton were on-fire with their hitting recording a combined 39 kills on 65 attempts. Bishop was able to stay in the match due to the Breakers making too many serve receive and passing errors.
In 2015 Breakers return a core of talented players and will be gaining a group of very skilled JV players to fill in the departing senior class. Expect next year to be another successful run.
Top Games in 2014
Kills – 21 Jack Wyett vs Esperanza, 5/24
Kills per set – 8.0, Jack Wyett vs El Segundo, 5/1
Aces – 6, Nick Rieckhoff vs Estancia 4/1, Jake Hexberg vs La Sierra, 5/15
Rotation Points 19, Lucas Capobianco vs Saddleback Valley Christian, 5/31
Solo Blocks – 4, Jack Wyett vs Bishop Montgomery 5/29
Block Assists – 7, Tyler Alter @ Lakewood, 5/19
Digs – 28, P Wollam vs Saddleback Valley Christian, 5/31
Serve Receive per Set – 11.5, Jack Wyett vs El Segundo, 5/3
Set-Assists per Set – 16.0, Alec Wulff @ Dana Hills, 4/25
Frosh Soph (15-5-1), James Alonso–Most Improved, Connor Brashier–Most Inspirational, Bruce Knill–Breaker Award
Junior Varsity (31-2-1), Ford Brian–Most Improved, Jordan Watkins–Most Inspirational, Dane Olson–Breaker Award
Varsity (27-6), Alec Wulff–Most Improved, Jake Hexberg & Troy Thomas –Most Inspirational, Jack Wyett–Breaker Award, Noah Blanton–Offensive Player of the Year, John-Paul Wollam–Defensive Player of the Year, Zack Bekken – Big Tiney Scholarship
ALL – ORANGE COAST LEAGUE
MVP – Jack Wyett – 12, Outside
Noah Blanton – 12, Middle Blocker
John-Paul Wollam- 12, Libero
Jake Hexberg – 12, Outside
Alec Wulff – 12, Setter
Tyler Alter – 10, Middle
Jack Burgi – 11, Opposite
Breaker Girls Lose Trophy Due to Forfeits
A coaching error by the veteran swim staff resulted in Laguna having to forfeit two second place free relay finishes and an individual event for technically having a swimmer compete in more than four different events between the prelims and finals. The error took place when a swimmer was switched from the medley relay (prelims) to the 200 free relay for the finals. As a result, Laguna dropped to 12th place (102 points) and had to return their team plaque for the second place finish.
School Record set in 2014:
50 Free, Cara Borkovec 24.01
100 Back, Erik Juliusson 50.04
100 Breast, Cameron Karkoska 59.22
100 Fly, Erik Juliusson 51.35
200 IM, Erik Juliusson 1:50.52
200 Medley, E. Juliusson/C. Karkoska, M. Morgan/ C. Baldridge 1:36.30
400 Free, M.Morgan/C.Baldridge, C.Karkoska/E.Juliusson 3:09.05
2014 Team Awards:
JV Girls: Most Improved – Shannon Siegrist, 3D (Dedication,Determination,Desire) – Katya Cox-Kruger
JV Boys: Most Improved – Aaron Sweet, 3D – Camden Benson
Varsity Girls: Team Captains – Jenna Knott & Lila Vera, Most Improved – Natalie Selin, MVP – Lila Vera & Cara Borkovec, 3D – Aria Fischer & Bella Baldridge
Varsity Boys: Team Captain – Nolan Del Toro, Most Improved – Ben Greenwood, MVP – Cameron Karkoska & Erik Juliusson, 3D – Max Morgan
Laguna’s John Graydon, a junior, advanced to the CIF Individual Finals that were held on Tuesday, May 27, at Mission Lakes CC shooting a 77 for the round just missing the cut at 76.
2014 Golf Team Awards: MVP: John Grayden, Captain – Tyler Metez, Most Improved – Max Brown
All Orange Coast League:
First Team: John Grayden
Second Team: Tyler Metez, Max Brown
2014 Team Awards: MVP- Halle Redfearn, Most Improved – Chiara Prando, Best Offense – Veronica Clancy, Best Defense – Andrea Gossett, Most Motivational – Jordan Hartman
All Orange Coast League:
First Team: Halle Redfearn – Sr, Veronica Clancy – Sr
Second Team: Jordan Hartman – Sr
Breakers singles and doubles entries won their first matches but failed to advance past the second round in individual portion of the SSCIF tournament regionals held at Corona del Mar on Thursday, May 29. Team awards will be published next week.
Track & Field
First Team All-League:
400M Nathan Lancaster (12)
110MH Charles Warner (10)
High Jump Kailar Pike (12)
Long Jump Mike Santana (12)
Triple Jump Mike Santana (12)
400M Coco Putnam (10)
800M Janie Crawford (11)
1600M Pearl Shoemaker (10)
3200M Brenna Merchant (11)
300MH Coco Putnam (10),
4 x 400 Relay Janie Crawford (11), Coco Putnam (10), Natalie Kimball (11), Brielle Budroe (12)
Triple Jump Paige Vitolo (11)
Shot Put Jackie Cenan (10)
2014 Team Awards:
Girls: Sprints MVP – Amy Hewlett; Jumps MVP – Paige Vitolo; Hurdles MVP – Coco Putnam; Distance MVP – Brielle Budroe & Janie Crawford; Throws MVP – Jacky Cenan; Rookie of the Year – Kirsten Landsiedel; Eric Hulst – Janie Crawford; Coaches Award – Brenna Merchant, Jacqueline Cenan, Amy Hewlett,
School Records Set in 2014:
100 High Hurdles – 44.80 Coco Putnam
Boys: Team MVP – Michael Santana, Sprints MVP -Nathan Lancaster, Jumps MVP – Kailar Pike, Hurdles MVP – Charles Warner, Distance MVP – Casiano Koprowski, Throws MVP – Oliver Cracknell, Rookie of the Year - Andrew Humphries Eric Hulst – Grant Barton Coaches Award – Liam Duncan
School Records Set in 2014:
Triple Jump Record 43′ 9.00 Michael Santana
400M 49.46 Nathan Lancaster