Laguna records rare playoff win

Coach Jeff Sears said it had been “forever and a day."

Well, whatever the time frame, it certainly was a first for Sears.

And, only a “second" for the Laguna Beach High baseball program.

Tuesday in Chino, the Laguna Beach coach watched his team play the way it was capable of performing.


And the result? Well, it yielded a rare victory.

The Breakers took on host Don Lugo in a CIF Southern Section Division IV wild-card game where both teams entered the playoffs as at-large entries. What impressed Sears most was the way his team battled, coming back from a 4-1 deficit to win going away, 11-6.

It was indeed rare air that the Breakers breathed late Tuesday: the program hadn’t won a CIF playoff game since 2000, nearly 10 years to the date. It was on May 12 of that year that Laguna defeated Capistrano Valley, 4-0.

That win also set a precedent, as it was the first baseball playoff victory in school history.


Laguna, which is in postseason play for just the sixth time, is now 2-5 overall in the playoffs, Athletic Director Mike Churchill said Wednesday.

“It’s just a big win for our program," said Sears, whose Breakers (16-13) advance to play a first-round game at 3:15 p.m. today at No. 2-seed Palm Desert.

“I think the kids finally decided they wanted to play as a team," he continued. “Everyone contributed to this win. Everyone was a part of it. That was fun to watch."

The Breakers were in a 4-1 hole but slowly chipped away at that deficit by “battling back nicely," Sears said. A big boost to the comeback came from Eric Peruzzi, who, with bases loaded, provided a bases-clearing triple that gave Laguna the lead.

The blast highlighted an eight-run fifth-inning for the Breakers, who took the lead for good at 9-4.

Don Lugo cut the lead to 9-5 by scoring once in the bottom of the fifth, but Peruzzi struck again in the sixth, this time with a two-home run that pushed the lead to 11-5.

Peruzzi, a transfer from JSerra, finished with five runs batted in.

The Breakers roped four pitchers for 15 hits. Junior Chris Paul doubled during the onslaught.


Senior Casey Miller got the win on the mound, improving and improved to 6-3. Junior Keaton Jones pitched in the sixth and Paul finished in the seventh.

“We swung the bat pretty good today," Sears said. “We really came up with some big hits. Peruzzi’s triple and home run were huge."

Sears said that Paul will get the start today at Palm Desert.