CORONA DEL MAR — The game didn't start out the way Andrew McCormack wanted.
The Corona del Mar High junior pitcher allowed three hits and two runs to visiting Irvine in the first inning of a game the Sea Kings needed to snap out of a three-game skid.
But somehow it all came together Monday. McCormack settled down, while the CdM bats came alive. The right-hander and some quality hitting led the Sea Kings to a 7-2 Pacific Coast League win. CdM (10-5, 5-3 in league) had scored only five runs during its three-game losing streak.
McCormack improved to 5-2, as he shut out the Vaqueros after the first inning, allowing just two hits after the opening frame. He finished with four strikeouts and three walks in his complete-game performance.
"It was a pretty rough inning," McCormack said of the first inning. "But I was just out there trying to throw strikes and I knew my teammates would put runs on the board. I was just trying to get out of there [in the first inning] and move on."
McCormack was right. His teammates did help him out. Junior Brent Lawson (two for three with two runs batted in and a double) and senior Josh Harrison (two for two with two RBIs) led the way. McCormack and senior Michael Salam drove in one run each.
"It was really big to turn it around and get the win," McCormack said. "We had our bats come alive. Now we're looking to get in another win before we go on a break."
McCormack said he was leaving too many pitches up in the strike zone in the first inning. But he threw lower in the zone and found a better spot to keep the Irvine batters off balance.
He was also aided by some standout defense, especially from senior catcher Clark Cashion. Emme said Cashion shut down three squeeze attempts with putouts and also caught two other runners stealing.
"He had a lot of action," Emme said of Cashion. "In essence, he caught five guys stealing."
Emme was also impressed with his team's hitting.
"A lot of guys came with a line-drive approach," Emme said. "That's what we're going to push the rest of the year, and getting those live groundballs. That's the only way you can succeed in the long term."
CdM plays at Irvine Wednesday at 3:15 p.m., and will then take four days off for spring break, Emme said.
— From staff reports
Pacific Coast League
Corona del Mar 7, Irvine 2
SCORE BY INNINGS
Irv 200 000 0 – 2 5 3
CdM 102 022 x – 7 9 0
Charles, Kessler (5) and Garmon; McCormack and Cashion. W – McCormack (5-2). L – Charles. 2B – Russell (Irv); Ford (CdM), Lawson (CdM).