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Nunis Delivers, Breakers Survive 5-4

Shortstop Robbie McInerny throws to first for the out against Costa Mesa at Skipper Carrillo Field.

Shortstop Robbie McInerny against Costa Mesa earlier in the season. 

Richie Nunis delivered a one-out bases loaded single deep into right-center field to lift Laguna to a 5-4 victory over Victor Valley (14-17) as Laguna defeated the Jackrabbits for the second consecutive season in CIF play on Saturday, May 18.

Last year Laguna won in the bottom of the seventh on a walk, but 2013 required a more dramatic finish.

Down 4-0 with one out, Laguna sent eight batters to the plate to pull out the win. The rally started with Larry Stewart beating out an infield hit, Adam Rodner taking a hit by pitch followed by a double by Preston Grand Pre, who drilled a bill down the third base line scoring Stewart.

The Jackrabbits then replaced starter Danny Perez, who had pitched brilliantly all day with Jacob Padilla. The new

Richie Nunis about to connect for one of his two hits against Calvary Chapel.

Richie Nunis earlier against Calvary Chapel, delivers a game-winning hit in the playoffs.

pitcher got a bad break when his first pitch was popped by Grant Wilhelm into a routine fly to right field appearing to be securely caught only to pop out of the fielder’s glove moments later straight to the ground.

After a pause, the Laguna players recognized what had happened to advance their base. Again with the bases loaded, Robbie McInerny was hit by a pitch to make the game 2-4, Victor Valley.  The rattled visitors then gave up a single to Blake Hester and a walk to Steven Harrison, each with an RBI to set up the dramatic finish.

Starter Jackson Rees and a perfect 10-0 record in 10 starts entering the contest but gave up all four runs including back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning. Kurt Rabone came in relief for the fifth inning while Cole Millerd (3-0) completed the final two innings for the win.

Breakers (26-2) play on Tuesday at La Sierra (17-10) in Riverside at 3 p.m. Should they win, the team will most likely be home on Friday, May 24 for the quarterfinal contest. A win on Tuesday will tie this team with the 2011 squad for the most season victories in 75 seasons of play for Laguna baseball.

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