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Baseball-Softball: Laguna already ready for playoffs

For a team that routinely takes things one game at a time, the CIF Southern Section playoffs can't come soon enough for Laguna Beach High's baseball squad.

The Breakers will finally get the chance to compete in postseason play next week. They will find out their first-round assignment when the Division 4 playoff brackets are announced Monday.

As a league champion, seventh-ranked Laguna will play host to a first-round game at 3:15 p.m. Thursday.

"Our team has really worked hard throughout the season and they are itching to start CIF," Laguna Coach Mike Bair said.

Laguna was one win away from posting its second consecutive, 15-0 Orange Coast League season. The Breakers closed out league and regular-season play Thursday against Costa Mesa. The score wasn't available at press time.

The Breakers sewed up another OCL championship last week by twice defeating Godinez. On May 9, they shut down host Godinez, 4-0. Senior Grant Wilhelm got the win and upped his record to 10-0. He threw six innings, allowed only two hits, walked three and struck out five. Freshman Ashton Goddard pitched the seventh, didn't allow a walk and struck out one.

"Solid pitching and pitching was the factor," Bair said of the shutout.

Preston GrandPre, Steven Harrison and Anthony Norelli had two hits apiece. GrandPre and Callan Cochran (single) each had an RBI.

Laguna went to Costa Mesa Tuesday and ran away with a 23-6 victory over the Mustangs. The win was their 11th in a row, and took their league win streak to 33 games.

The Breakers scored 23 runs in a game for the second time this season, the first time coming in a 23-2 OCL win March 21 over Saddleback. Their season-high for runs in a game is 28 which they scored in a 28-0 victory in their second game of the season, a March 8 Newport Elks Tournament game against Troy.

A 22-hit attack saw Wilhelm get four hits including two doubles and four RBIs, Dante Faicchio with four hits including a double with three RBIs, Richie Nunis with three hits including a triple with five RBIs, and Will McInerny with three hits and two RBIs. Zak Kovacic got the win to put his record to 5-1.

During the past week, GrandPre, with 31, broke the program's single-season mark for stolen bases. He stole the old record of 29 set during the 1997 season by Aaron Skinner.

GrandPre had 45 career stolen bases through Tuesday, four behind Skinner's career mark of 49.

The Breakers took an overall record of 23-2, and league mark of 14-0, into Thursday's regular-season finale against Costa Mesa.

"To take care of business game in and game out in league these past two years, is a pretty great accomplishment," Bair said regarding his team's chances of a repeat 15-0 league season. "It's amazing, really.

"To win league was a team goal and it's great that we accomplished that. We talked about doing that before the season started. But now, our guys are ready for CIF. I feel that our best baseball, and true motivation for the season, is ahead of us."


The Breakers dropped a 6-0 Orange Coast League contest to visiting Godinez Tuesday at Thurston Middle School.

Jordan Hartman had two hits for the Breakers, who closed out their season Thursday against Costa Mesa. The score wasn't available at press time.

"We had a hard time finding our groove, but like always, played hard with a positive attitude," Laguna Coach Nicole LeMotte said of Tuesday's loss.

CIF Weekly Rankings

Baseball: Laguna Beach (No. 7, Division 4).

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