Anaheim High School continued its striking turnaround from last season with a 7-2 victory over Western on Wednesday in Orange League baseball in Anaheim.
The Colonists (11-8, 7-3) have become bona fide contenders for the league title under Coach Dave Torres after they struggled to win only four games last year.
Sophomore Pete Gonzales (6-3) pitched a complete game and catcher Ryan Jara hit a grand slam for the Colonists. Western (12-8-1, 6-3-1) opened a 2-0 first-inning lead but managed only two hits off Gonzales in the next six innings.
Anaheim started four sophomores and four juniors, and they responded with two big innings against losing pitcher Mark Holiday.
Holiday (4-3) allowed a one-out single to designated hitter Sam Serna in the fourth inning and then walked Louis Medina and John Barber to load the bases. Jara hit a high fastball that sailed over the right-field fence for all the runs that Gonzales needed.
Anaheim chased Holiday and extended its lead to 7-2 in the fifth inning. The Colonists combined 4 hits, 2 walks and a passed ball for 3 runs. Medina hit a run-scoring double and first baseman Jose Gonzalez added a run-scoring single in the inning.
Gonzales retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced, and the Colonists didn't commit an error. Afterward, Torres said his team's turnaround was the result of a lot of hard work.
"We've been working, practicing and playing so hard that good things are starting to come our way," he said. "We're a team that has to be fundamentally sound. The players have to do what they're coached to do if we're going to win.
"I'm so happy for the players. The wins have been great for them. Am I surprised? Yes and no. I knew if the kids worked hard, we could win. But they're starting to exceed my expectations."
In other Orange League games:
Valencia 22, Magnolia 8--Mike Edwards, John Daugherty and Nacho Garcia each had three hits as the Tigers (11-5-1, 7-2) remained in first place. Edwards had a homer and 4 RBIs, Daugherty had a double and 4 RBIs and Garcia drove in 3 runs.
Savanna 1, Brea Olinda 0 (8 innings)--Dave Wood threw a two-hitter for Savanna at Brookhurst Park. John Goosh tripled and scored on a single by Jim Wood.
In the Angelus League:
Servite 16, Pius X 0--Jim Berry went 2 for 2 with a home run, Brian Criss went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and 2 RBIs to lead Servite (14-5, 7-2). Mark Tacconelli went 2 for 3 and Mike Robertson went 2 for 3 for Servite, which hit 7 doubles. Andy Croghan (6-2) had five strikeouts for the victory.
Mater Dei 7, St. Paul 3--Jim Austin hit a three-run home run and Mike Basse had a two-run double as visiting Mater Dei (16-2, 8-2) scored five runs in the third inning. Jason Gill had two hits and Tony Pena (7-1) pitched a five-hitter for Mater Dei.
In the Empire League:
El Dorado 5, Cypress 0--Chris Olson went 4 for 4 and had an RBI, 3 runs scored and 3 stolen bases to lead visiting El Dorado (17-3, 8-2).
Esperanza 6, Katella 1--Jim Short went 3 for 4 and hit a three-run home run in the third inning to lead Esperanza (14-5, 8-2) at Katella (9-11, 3-7). Roger Weems (6-2) struck out six in six innings for Esperanza. Alan Acosta hit two doubles for Katella.
Loara 8, Los Alamitos 3--Chris Hoffman went 3 for 3 with a three-run home run in the fifth inning and Joey Pactwa had a two-run home run in the same inning for visiting Loara (8-11,3-7). Craig Clayton (3-5) got the win and Jim Delehoy the save. Loara's Andy Hall had three hits and two runs scored. Mike Kelly had three hits and three RBIs, Mike Scott was 2 for 2 with a double and Mark Wasikowski was 2 for 4 with a double for Los Alamitos (16-5, 7-3). Ken Gajewski (1-1) took the loss.
In the Freeway League :
La Habra 17, Buena Park 1--Rob Utz (6-1) struck out the first 10 batters he faced, finished with 17 strikeouts and threw a one-hitter to lead visiting La Habra (13-5, 9-1) . He pitched 6 innings before he gave up a hit. Tim Moore went 4 for 6 with 3 runs scored, Mike Morris went 4 for 4 with a home run and 4 RBIs, Daren Downs went 4 for 6 with 5 RBIs and David Stevens went 3 for 6 with a home run and 2 RBIs for La Habra.
Fullerton 17, Troy 2--Jeff Manship had a grand slam, his third of the season, for host Fullerton (14-6, 7-3), which had 12 hits. It was his second grand slam in two games. Steve DePhillips had two home runs and Rene Arias had a home run also for Fullerton. Arias (5-1) gave up five hits over six innings for the victory. Lee Green had two hits for Fullerton.
Sunny Hills 2, Sonora 1--Brian Veronda (3-3) pitched a three-hitter and had the game-winning RBI in the fourth inning, driving in Mike McGuire on a groundout, to lead host Sunny Hills (9-11, 5-5).
In the Garden Grove League:
La Quinta 11, Bolsa Grande 2--John Park had three hits and four RBIs to lead visiting La Quinta (16-4, 9-0) to its 15th consecutive victory. Park had a three-run double in the fifth as La Quinta scored five runs. Gerry Arneson had 2 hits, Mark Ralston had 2 hits and 2 RBIs and Bob Heyl had 2 hits for La Quinta, which had 14 hits. Corey Giuliano (2-0) pitched a two-hitter and Richard Evans (0-2) took the loss.
Pacifica 2, Garden Grove 0--Right-hander Todd Long pitched a two-hitter and struck out six and teammate Bill Tompkins drove in both runs with a single and sacrifice fly.
Kennedy 2, Santiago 0--Peter Montera threw a one-hitter for host Kennedy (13-9, 7-2). Kennedy's Ernie Franco hit a solo home run in the second, and second baseman Mike Correa went 2 for 3.
Rancho Alamitos 3, Los Amigos 0--Ryan Flanagan (6-1) pitched a three-hitter and struck out five to lead Rancho Alamitos (10-11, 4-5). Flanagan's earned-run average is 1.10. Paul Lee homered in the sixth for Rancho Alamitos.
In the Sea View League:
University 3, Newport Harbor 2--Marc Sutter hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning and Casey Simpson singled home Chris Banning with the game-winning run with two outs in the fifth inning. Garth Viar (4-8) had six strikeouts for University (8-13, 4-6), which won its fourth in a row.
Estancia 5, Corona del Mar 4--Estancia (14-6, 7-3) was led by Conrad Colby, who went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and hit his 28th career double, which is second in the Southern Section for career marks. Frank Herman went 2 for 3 with a solo home run and Bill Gomez went 2 for 3 for Estancia. Kurt Ehmann went 2 for 2 with a home run for Corona del Mar.
In the South Coast League:
Irvine 5, Dana Hills 0--Jim Huntsberger threw a four-hitter for visiting Irvine (14-6, 7-3). Randy Martin hit a two-run home run to break a scoreless tie in the fifth inning. Irvine added another run in the fifth and two in the seventh inning.
El Toro 6, Capistrano Valley 5--Don Goodbrand (6-1) had a 6-0 lead after five innings, then survived five errors to hang on for host El Toro (12-9, 7-3). Adam Brass and Tim Jurkowski each had two hits and Joe Guerra had a two-run double for El Toro.
Mission Viejo 6, San Clemente 5 (9 innings)--Steve Guenther's single scored Scott Parrott for the Diablos (14-5, 5-5) at home.
Troy Kopp singled to left after walks to Matt Balsz and Parrott, but Balsz was thrown out at the plate. Guenther then singled to end the game.
Mission Viejo sent the game into extra innings with a run in the seventh. Jeff Hawkins, who had three hits, tripled to score Kopp from first to tie the score, 5-5.