LAGUNA BEACH "” This wasn’t the way the home league opener was supposed to go, with Calvary Chapel treating Skipper Carrillo Field like the site of a home run derby.
The visiting Eagles hit five home runs Tuesday, then survived a late Breakers rally as Laguna fell, 15-10, in the Orange Coast League game.
The Breakers, who have the league bye today, saw their league record evened at 1-1. They’re 5-4 overall.
Sophomore catcher J.T. McLuckey was four for five with two home runs and four runs batted in for Calvary Chapel (6-2, 1-0). Senior shortstop Ryan McDaniel had two doubles, a home run and five RBIs and senior pitcher Chad Wallach earned the win and hit a home run of his own.
“We took quality at-bats," said Laguna Beach Coach Jeff Sears, whose team was down, 12-0, before making it interesting. “We just didn’t pitch very well, and that’s what happens when you don’t pitch very well. It puts you in a hole real quick."
Down, 15-5, headed into the seventh, the Breakers put a five-spot on the board. Mike Opera had an RBI single, Stevie Contursi drew a bases-loaded walk and Raphael Vickers followed with an infield single, bringing Laguna within 15-9. Then, after a sacrifice fly by Robbie McInerny, the lead was down to five. But Calvary induced a groundout to end the game.
Seniors Casey Miller and Contursi were each three for four for the Breakers. Contursi had three doubles and three RBIs and Vickers two. Sophomore Shane Selfridge also had a pair of hits and an RBI for the Breakers.
Laguna Beach hosts Ramona in a nonleague doubleheader Saturday; game times are 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Breakers then have a big week next week, as they’re at Estancia on Tuesday and host defending league champion Costa Mesa on Thursday.
“Costa Mesa’s our main team we want to beat, so we need to go into that game hard," Contursi said. “We’ll try to leave this game in the past and just come out ready to play, not wait until the later innings to come back."
TRACK AND FIELD
The Laguna Beach High track and field team had several standout performances at its host Trophy Invitational on Saturday.
In the Eric Hulst Memorial 3,200-meter run, junior Matt Neev placed second in a personal-best time of 9 minutes 31.38 seconds. Senior Tommy Newton-Neal was fifth in 9:38.57.
Newton-Neal was second in the 1,600, in 4:28.17, and senior Sean Pigden was fourth in the 800 (2:03.23).
Sophomore Norton Penney was seventh in the 100, in 11.90 seconds, and ninth in the 200 (23.82).
Senior Devin Kent also took third in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet 8, and senior Brett Linkletter was third in long jump at 20-9. He was also seventh in the triple jump in 40-2 1/2 . Junior Ben Hanson was sixth in the shot put in 38-1 3/4 .
On the girls’ side, sophomore Natasha Strickland was third in the girls’ Eric Hulst Memorial 3,200 in 11:49.14. Senior Alex DeGarmo took third in the girls’ 200 in 27.11 and fourth in the 100 in 13.37.
Junior Christianne Kinder was third in the high jump, clearing 5 feet. Laguna also placed second in the girls’ 4x100 relays in 51.04 and third in the boys’ race in 45.33.
The Breakers boys and girls also topped Godinez on March 18 in their Orange Coast League opener. They had another home league meet against Calvary Chapel on Thursday and next compete at the Trabuco Hills Invitational on April 2.
Lance Stewart is back as coach for the Breakers after serving a five-week suspension for an unspecified violation.
“It’s unfortunate that the boys got stuck with just one coach for five weeks," Stewart said. “Moving forward, we can work on some of the things it’s tough to work on with just one coach."
His first match back was at home against San Clemente on Wednesday, and the Breakers almost made it a comeback to remember but San Clemente survived, 25-19, 25-20, 24-26, 21-25, 15-11.
Senior Travis Woloson had 16 kills and 23 assists for Laguna Beach. Senior Reed Thompson pounded down 13 kills and junior Robbie McKnight had 24 assists.
“It was kind of a replay of what I’ve seen on tape," Stewart said. “We’re not playing real well in the clutch. We need to make more of the plays we’re capable of making, and on a consistent basis."
Over the weekend, the Breakers, ranked No. 2 in Division II, made it to the Gold Division quarterfinals of the Orange County Championships but ended the tournament falling to Dana Hills in the fifth-place semifinals, 22-25, 25-13, 17-15.
Laguna had previously won its pool at the tournament by recording wins over Foothill, top-seeded Esperanza and San Clemente. But the Breakers lost in the quarterfinals in three tough games to Mission Viejo before falling to Dana Hills.
The Breakers played at Dana Hills on Thursday and begin defense of their Orange Coast League championship at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Godinez.
Laguna Beach fell to Newport Harbor, 13-5, in a nonleague match Wednesday on the road. That was preceded by an 18-0 win over Godinez in the Orange Coast League opener Tuesday. Coach Aaron Talarico said Hutton McKenna and Teague Hamilton had good days against the Sailors, but the team is still a work in progress after losing its top two players, Jake Michaels and Chris Lavery, from last season.
“It’s like we have a brand new team this year," Talarico said. “Our guys are so close to getting it. They just need to keep working."
The Breakers, ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division IV poll, host Dana Hills on Wednesday in what Talarico said is a key match. Dana Hills is ranked No. 10 in Division I.
The Breakers haven’t played since earning an Orange Coast League victory over Ocean View, 201-215, on March 18 at Mile Square in Fountain Valley.
Laguna’s Tim Peterson was medalist, firing a one-over par 38.
Laguna’s next scheduled match is against Calvary Chapel on Monday, at the Breakers’ home course of Aliso Viejo Country Club.