You couldn't blame the Laguna Beach High baseball team if it had been
distracted at Friday's 2005 season opener.
Instead, though, of getting detoured by playing their first game
at a brand new, home ballpark, and playing for a new head coach, the
Breakers never lost sight of the task at hand.
Instead, a pumped-up Laguna squad seemed focused as it handled
visiting Western, 7-4, in the opening round of the Newport Elks
Not only was it Laguna's season opener, it was the first game for
Dave Dopf as head coach.
And to launch the new ballpark -- which included re-orientation of
the playing field and new facilities, from batting cages to dugouts
-- Skipper Carrillo, a Laguna Beach resident long associated with the
school and one-time equipment manager, threw out the first pitch at a
field that is named in his honor.
"It was a great start to the season," Dopf said. "You want to win
every game you play in, but you always want to win your first game.
"The boys came through big in the game. We pitched and hit well
and our defense was just great. We didn't commit any errors."
The teams were deadlocked at 4-4 through four innings, but Laguna
scored twice in the fifth inning and once more in the sixth, to pull
out the win.
Junior centerfielder Noah Brewster gave the Breakers a big lift by
delivering the team's first big hit of the season -- a three-run home
run in the first inning.
Brewster, Laguna's cleanup hitter, went on to a three for four
hitting performance that included a double and five RBIs.
Jeff Bolar went two for two with a pair of walks.
Kevin Kelly notched the pitching win.
Laguna came back the following day to outlast host Bolsa Grande,
9-8, in a second round game of tournament pool play.
The lead changed hands several times, and Bolsa Grande held a 6-4
advantage after the Matadors scored three runs in the bottom of the
But Laguna responded in the top of the fifth, getting four runs to
take an 8-6 lead. This time, the big hit came from Jason Wahler, who
belted a three-run home run to highlight the inning.
Bolsa Grande came back to tie the score at 8-8 in the sixth
inning, but the Breakers took the lead for good when Brewster led off
the seventh inning with a solo homer.
Reliever Calvin Mead shut down the Matadors in the bottom of the
seventh to get the win.
Brewster had another big game at the plate with an RBI double in
the first inning and a two-run home run in the third.
Sam Palfreyman had an RBI single in the fourth inning, which had
given Laguna a 4-3 lead.
"It's nice to come out at the start and win your first two games,"
Dopf said. "It's also great to pull out a one-run ballgame, one the
road. Good teams do that. It's a shot of confidence for this team."
For how well Laguna played in its first two games, Dopf said, the
Breakers didn't look sharp in a third round loss Tuesday to Cerritos,
Six fielding errors doomed Laguna.
"They didn't beat us. We beat ourselves," he said.
The Dons took advantage of those errors to post six runs, only two
of which were earned.
Kelly went two for three with a walk and RBI, Bolar had two hits
and scored twice, Wahler doubled among two hits and scored a run and
Brewster had a two-RBI hit.
Laguna, which took on Saddleback Thursday, continues tournament
The time and opponent for Saturday's game will be determined by
results from Thursday.