For the first time since 1957, Laguna Beach (18-12) will host a CIF semifinal game in baseball as the Breakers upset 10th ranked California High 3-2 in a 12-inning victory Friday, May 27, at Rio Hondo College in Whittier.
Alex Baker scored off a mishandled hit by Jack Simon in the top of the 12 inning to give Laguna their first lead in the game, but it took a nail-biting finish on defense to secure the win.
In the final inning, the Condor’s ninth batter grounded to third for the first out, but top-of-the-order hitter Brandon Acosta hit a single. Breakers recorded the second out when Acosta was caught stealing second as Laguna executed the play perfectly.
The next batter, Jake Carmichael harmlessly singled putting Gilly Rodriguez at-bat. Rodriguez was the Condor player that hit the fielder’s choice, saving Laguna in the seventh inning, and the batter struggled under the pressure striking out to end the game.
Blake Burzell started the contest for Laguna and gave up two runs in the first, but settled down after that to complete five innings of work and struck out four.
John Ogden came in to pitch in relief and retired the Condor’s in the sixth inning on just a few pitches. He got into trouble in the bottom of the seventh and gave up two straight hits to open California’s first chance to steal the win.
In came catcher Will McInerny to pitch, getting the first batter he faced into a fielder’s choice, tagging the lead runner at home keeping the game alive for Laguna. The Condors next two batters grounded harmlessly to second for routine outs and Laguna escaped.
McInerny ended up pitching six innings, striking out seven.
Breakers had a chance in the 10th inning with runners on second and third with one out, but could not get them home.
Tuesday’s game is with fourth-ranked St. Bonaventure (21-7), 3:15 p.m. at Skipper Carrillo Field. The winner will advance to the CIF final on Saturday, June 4, at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino to face either Montebello or Kaiser.
The top four CIF divisions will play Saturday at San Manuel. Game time for each contest has not been announced.