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ORANGE COUNTY PREP BASEBALL : Empire League : El Dorado Wins, 5-2, Behind Gill, Behnke

El Dorado High School has one of the top hitting teams in the county, but Friday it used a different weapon: pitchers Steve Gill and Brian Behnke, who combined for a two-hitter as the Golden Hawks defeated Katella, 5-2, in an Empire League game at El Dorado.

The Golden Hawks (8-2, 16-3), batting .360 as a team, have relied on pitching during the past week to stay two games behind Esperanza (10-0, 18-1) in the league race.Wednesday, junior Kevin Schula threw a five-hitter as El Dorado beat Kennedy, 15-3. On Friday, senior left-hander Gill (7-2) pitched six innings, giving up one run and one hit and striking out eight.

Behnke, another senior left-hander, came on in the seventh inning after Robert Coons had allowed a run. With runners on first and second he struck out the three hitters he faced to preserve the victory.

“In the sixth inning my elbow started to hurt, and I didn’t have control of my fastball,” said Gill. “I felt good today with my knuckle curve, and that made the difference.”

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El Dorado, the county’s sixth-rated in the Orange County Sportswriters Assn. poll, jumped all over Katella left-hander Marc Gerdes (3-5) in the second and third innings.

In the second inning, Rene Ayala singled up the middle to score Doug Yates from second and Schula from third. In the third, senior Bret Boone hit a sharp single to left field scoring Gill and catcher Chris Olsen for a 4-0 lead. The Golden Hawks got one more run when Phillip Nevin bounced into a double play, scoring Boone from third.

Katella (4-6, 10-12), which stranded six runners in scoring position, dropped to fourth place in the league.

The Golden Hawks had 10 hits. Boone and first basemen Scott Tomko had two each.

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Esperanza 7, Los Alamitos 5--Tom Redington went 2 for 3 with a home run to lead the Aztecs (10-0, 18-1) at Los Alamitos. Los Alamitos (6-3-1, 10-7-1) scored four runs in the fourth to tie the score, 4-4. But Esperanza scored twice in the fifth and once in the seventh, on Redington’s home run.

Kennedy 7, Cypress 6--The Centurions led, 6-3, after scoring four runs in the top of the seventh, but Kennedy scored four in the bottom of the inning to win. John Christianson singled to drive in the winning run for Kennedy (3-7, 8-14). Robert Wilson hit a two-run homer for Kennedy and Ron Brown homered for Cypress (3-6-1, 10-12-1). Charley Lindquist pitched the final inning for the victory.


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