Morgan Stanley and American Legion faced off Tuesday in Laguna Beach Little League AAA Division play at Riddle Field and Morgan Stanley's offensive output in the fourth and fifth innings paved the way for a 16-8 victory.
Cameron Garcia started on the mound for American Legion and allowed six runs with seven strikeouts in the first three innings. Morgan Stanley's Cole Fink hit a double in the first to bring home Nolan Smith and Luc LaMontagne. Fink hit another double in the third to score LaMontagne and Josh Mc Manus. Jacob Thornton squeezed in a triple, then stole home.
With Nick Carpino on the mound for Morgan Stanley in the first, Garcia's hit brought home Trey Lockhart and later scored when he stole home. Another hit by Garcia scored Lockhart again in the third inning.
Wesley Witteman and Brandon Schwendel both had two RBI and American Legion held a 7-6 lead. Carpino struck out four.
Morgan Stanley's bats were hot in the fourth and fifth innings. Jackson Yelland started off the fourth with a bunt. McManus hit a triple to drive in Dylan Brashier, Mason Lebby and Nolan Smith and then stole home. Joseph Sweet's single scored Fink to cap five-run inning. Carpino, Yelland, Brashier, Lebby and LaMontagne scored in the fifth to increase the Morgan Stanley lead to 16-7.
Lockhart, Brandon Schwendel, Jared Angus and Daniel Nash took turns pitching for American Legion the remainder of the game. Angus also stole home in the fifth to bring the score to 15-8. American Legion could get not closer as McManus and Smith each recorded a strikeout and Fink struck out two, to complete Morgan Stanley's victory.
— Jennifer Sweet, Community Correspondent
Sportsworld 13, UPS Store 9: In an AAA Division game played Wednesday at Riddle Field, Sportsworld overcame an early five-run deficit to defeat UPS Store and take sole possession of first place in the division.
UPS scored five runs in the first inning, thanks to the speedy base running of leadoff hitter Will Clark and back-to-back-to-back hits by Hunter Johnson, Lucas Blow and James Loughlin. Johnson, who was starting pitcher for UPS, held Sportsworld in check in their first time through the order, fanning three batters in a row to get out of a bases loaded situation.
After Johnson ran out of his allotted 75 pitches, UPS was forced to go deep into its bullpen, which is when the Sportsworld offense counter-attacked. Singles by Jett Rocha, Taylor Kaye and Christian Holm set the stage for a bases-clearing double by Sportsworld starting pitcher Aiden Kidd. After a second pitching change by UPS, the Sportsworld hitting onslaught continued with doubles by Blake Pivaroff, Kent Cebreros and Will Lichtenstein whose line drive pegged the left fence on one bounce.
Any thoughts of a UPS counterattack where extinguished thanks to lights out pitching by Sportsworld closer Charlie Pillsbury who struck out four of the eight batters he faced in the game's final two innings.
— Taylor Pillsbury, Community Correspondent