Host El Segundo on Tuesday
An overflow crowd jammed Skipper Carrillo field on Thursday as the Breakers (26-2) held off a very good Indio squad to earn a 5-2 victory for the 73-year old program’s first home playoff win in history.
The visiting Rajahs (17-6) took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning when a Laguna throwing error allowed Alex Chavarria to get into scoring position. Jose Lopez then hit a strong two-base hit scoring Chavarria. Breakers caught Lopez attempting to steal then recorded outs on a fly to centerfield and a strikeout to escape the inning.
Laguna got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning when Larry Stewart led off with a hard hit to second that was difficult to field allowing Stewart to beat out the hit. Jake Herbert laid down a perfect bunt single and was followed by a double by Keaton Jones who recorded his team-leading 16th two-base hit for the season scoring Stewart. The final two runs came home on an Erik Peruzzi double.
Breakers added two more runs in the fifth inning after Jones led off with a walk followed by an Austin Paxson single. Chris Paul and Steven Harrison drove in the runs.
The final game drama took place in the top of the seventh inning. Indio’s Jose Lopez drew a walk despite some tough pitching by Chris Paul. Joseph Rivas hit a ball that was mishandled by the infield. Ricky Lopez slammed the ball to left field over third base allowing Jose Lopez to score, which caused a dispute when the runner collided with
the Rajah third base coach who was out of the coaching box. After a long deliberation, the three game officials ruled it incidental and the run counted.
With two men on base and no outs, Coach Jeff Sears changed pitchers bringing in his other ace, Keaton Jonesm to replace starter Chris Paul (10-1). Kristian Figueroa grounded to Harrison at third setting up a possible double play but base runner Joseph Rivas interfered with the Laguna infield in making the force play at second. The resulting call by the base umpire gave Laguna two outs and renewed Laguna’s focus to close out the game. Jones had no trouble forcing his final batter to ground out for a routine play by Austin Paxson and the celebration erupted.
Breakers will host the second round contest this Tuesday, 3 p.m. at Skipper Carrillo Field on the local high school campus. El Segundo (19-12) will a challenge as Laguna hopes to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals.