renaissance

Laguna Baseball’s Title Drought Nears its End

Breakers Sweep Calvary –  Now 19-2

Laguna Beach High School baseball

Keaton Jones steals third base against Calvary Chapel on Tuesday, April 19. The senior also earned the win in relief as a pitcher, the first of two games played against the Eagles, and used his bat to help in the second game win. Photo by Robert Campbell

Laguna rallied from a two run deficit to defeat Calvary Chapel 6-4 in the first of two games played at Vanguard University yesterday, April 19.

The Breakers found themselves giving Calvary the bases loaded and only one out in the bottom of the fifth inning when star relief pitcher Keaton Jones took the mound.  The batter, Hans Anderle, hit a routine fly to left field caught by Jake Herbert, who then threw a perfect strike to catcher Erik Peruzzi for the double play. Never mind that the Calvary runner JT McLuckey had left early. The psychological advantage of the executed play was the lift the Breakers needed, according to Coach Sears.

Breakers went to bat and quickly tied the game in the next inning. Austin Paxson was hit by a pitch. The Eagles intentionally walked Chris Paul and catcher Erik Peruzzi made the Eagles pay with an opposite field triple to tie the game. Laguna was unable to score after that but Jones faced only four batters in the bottom of the inning to return the Breakers to bat.

In the seventh inning, Travis Clawson singled to right field. He advanced to second when Keaton Jones grounded out. Paxson hit a single and Paul was intentionally walked to load the bases.  Calvary’s pitcher then lost control hitting both Peruzzi and Steven Harrison to give the Breakers the final margin of victory.  Jones closed out the game with a little drama in the bottom of the seventh.

Keaton struck out the first batter, then gave up a hit. The next batter grounded out advancing the runner before Jones gave up another hit to give the Eagles a runner on first and third. Jones then struck out Brandon Coon to end Calvary’s hopes of catching Laguna in the league race.

In the second game, Paul breezed through the Calvary line-up as Laguna won 10-1 with the Eagles lone run coming in the bottom of the seventh inning.  Breakers took an early 2-0 lead in the first on Calvary throwing errors and broke the game open in the fourth inning.

Robbie Harrison started the inning off with a single to left field followed by Travis Clawson’s hit to right. Jake Herbert sacrificed to advance the runners while Larry Stewart hit into center scoring Harrison. Robbie McInerny’s hit scored Clawson, followed by Keaton Jones hitting a double to score Stewart and McInerny. Paxson walked and Paul singled home the final two runs to put Laguna well in front at 8-0.  Breakers added two more in the seventh as Paul and Taylor Preston scored.

Breakers are now 19-2 overall and 9-0 in the Orange Coast League, a full four games ahead of the rest of the league with only six games remaining. Calvary (5-4, 13-7) was Laguna’s major threat in the league and should finish second. Laguna still has two games each with Godinez (8-10, 3-4) next week followed by Costa Mesa (4-4, 9-9) and Saddleback (0-8, 3-15). The big home games will be Friday, April 29, and Tuesday, May 3. Come out and see Laguna’s best team in 73 seasons of baseball.

Last week, the Breakers edged defending league champion Estancia 9-6 at Laguna on Tuesday, April 12 and followed that game with a Chris Paul 2-0 victory at Estancia on Friday. Breakers now lead the all-time series with Estancia 39-23 earning a rare sweep of the season series.

 

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