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La Quinta Moves Into Spotlight : Aztecs Upstage Kennedy to Win Tournament Title

La Quinta High School stole the spotlight from Kennedy Wednesday, defeating its Garden Grove League rival, 7-1, for the championship of the Anaheim Lions tournament at Glover Field.

Kennedy--the preseason favorite to win the Garden Grove League title--had not allowed a run in 25 consecutive innings. And Robert Espinoza, fresh off a no-hitter over Riordan of San Francisco in the first round, was on the mound trying to extend that streak.

But the Aztecs pounded out seven hits for seven runs in the first two innings, while Corey Giuliano, the tournament’s most valuable pitcher, tossed a four-hitter, striking out six and walking one.

“It’s a tough situation to have to play against a team they consider the best in your league,” La Quinta Coach Dave Demerest said.

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“They’ll use this as an incentive 10 days from now (when the teams meet in league play).

“I just hope our kids have enough intelligence to realize the score is 0-0 again in 10 days.”

La Quinta (10-2-1) took care of that in a hurry Wednesday, as Jason Parsons lined a triple to the right-field alley, driving in two runs with one out in the first inning.

Before the inning was over, the Aztecs had scored five runs (three earned) on four hits, chasing Espinoza (1-2).

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Parsons, the tournament MVP, was two for four with two runs scored and two RBIs. Left fielder James Johnson was one for two with two RBIs and two walks.

Kennedy’s Scott Walker entered the game in the second inning, allowing two runs (one earned) before settling down with 3 1/3 hitless innings. Mike Stenner pitched a perfect final two-thirds of an inning for the Fighting Irish.

Kennedy (8-3) managed just a run in the second off Giuliano (5-1), who also pitched a four-hitter in the first round against University.

“I wanted this one,” said Giuliano, a senior left-hander.

“I felt I could complete it. I like to throw a lot of innings, the adrenaline was flowing and I felt really good.

“Pitching is supposed to be our weak spot, but we have been really great.”

In other Anaheim Lions tournament games:

Cerritos 8, Canyon 0--Tony Coto pitched a three-hitter, striking out six, for Cerritos in the consolation final at Glover Stadium. Ricky Craddle had a solo home run for Cerritos. Canyon is 5-6 on the season.

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Westminster 7, Dana Hills 4--Brett Grebe was three for four with two RBIs to help Westminster rally for the victory in the third-place game at Glover Stadium. Chris Larson was two for four with a double, a steal and two RBIs for Westminster (8-2-1). Lance Marks hit a two-run homer in the first inning to give Dana Hills a 2-0 lead. Mike Oetinger was two for three with a double for Dana Hills.

Troy 15, Garden Grove 3--The Warriors scored 11 runs in the second to erase a 2-0 lead in a consolation-round game at Glover Stadium. Craig Cochell hit a bases-loaded double to drive in two runs in the second and Tom Furukawa followed with a double to drive in two more. Tom Wilson (3-0) pitched a three-hitter, striking out 12, for the Warriors (6-2). Wilson allowed three unearned runs.


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