Eagles rally to final

COSTA MESA — Out of all the Orange Coast League baseball teams, Estancia Coach Nate Goellrich said he has scouted all off them, except for one.

The one team he hasn't seen is defending league champion Laguna Beach. There was a good chance Goellrich might have met the Breakers up close and personal in a big game on Friday, a week before the two teams opened league against each other.

Goellrich said he didn't want any part of the Breakers before league.

The question of facing the Breakers came up after the Eagles advanced to the Costa Mesa Division title game of the Newport Elks Tournament with a 9-3 win at home against Westminster on Wednesday.

Goellrich didn't know whether the Breakers had moved past their semifinal game against Segerstrom, but he was certain about one thing.

"I would like to wait until [March 16]," Goellrich said of playing Laguna Beach in the league opener, rather than in the finale of the tournament. "We're trying to get ready [for league] by playing different teams and getting different looks."

The Eagles will get to play another team, rather than a league foe during the tournament.

The Breakers lost at home to Segerstrom, 12-1, so Estancia gets to play host to Segerstrom on Friday at 3 p.m.

The Costa Mesa Division title game pits two teams, which have gone 4-0 during the tournament.

How Estancia prevailed was much different from the previous three outings. The Eagles trailed for the first time and they had to come from behind to get past the semifinals of the tournament after failing to do so the past two seasons.

Rallying from a 2-0 deficit showed Goellrich, a first-year head coach, how special his club is early on. He said his team was a little tired from playing its fourth game in seven days.

The Eagles got their second wind in the bottom of the fourth inning against Westminster (2-2). Getting that first hit of the game for Estancia helped start a rally.

Alex Trancoso, the leadoff hitter, was the player who got things going.

He began the fourth with a double over the left fielder's head. Levi Stillman made it a one-run deficit by singling and picking up Trancoso, who went three for four.

The next batter, the No. 3 hitter, Tyler Rios surprised starter Marco Bedolla. On his first offering, Rios laid down a perfect bunt toward first base and he made it safely.

A fielding error loaded the bases for Andres Hernandez with one out. Hernandez singled in Stillman, and Rios followed right behind him, scoring on a throwing error to the plate.

Just like that the Eagles took a 3-2 lead. They weren't finished.

In the fifth, Jackson Letterman led off with a single. Trancoso singled and Stillman got onboard with a bunt single, loading the bases again for Estancia.

This time, with Rios in the batter's box, the junior wasn't going to tap a pitch in the infield. He was looking to drive in runs and he delivered, turning on a fastball. Rios drove in two runs with a double to left field and Estancia went ahead, 5-2.

Hernandez, who finished two for three with four runs batted in, drove in two of the Eagles' next three runs in the fifth to blow the game open. A six-run lead was enough for starter Steven Macias to earn his second victory of the season.

The right-hander didn't go the distance as he did in his first start of the season, but Goellrich will take Macias' solid effort, three earned runs on nine hits, with five strikeouts and one walk in 5 1/3 innings.

"We need to get other guys some work," said Goellrich, who went to the bullpen for the first time this season after his starters turned in complete games in the first three outings.

"The ultimate goal is to get ready for the league. I think we're getting there. I didn't think we played really great today early, but we battled back. The wins are great early, but the only thing that matters is [the league opener on March 16 at Laguna Beach]."


Twitter: @DCPenaloza


Newport Elks Tournament

Costa Mesa Division


Estancia 9, Westminster 3


West. 002 001 0 – 3 9 3

Estancia 000 351 x – 9 10 0

Bedolla, Solis (6) and Yaussi; Macias, Stillman (6) and Pearce. W – Macias, 2-0. L – Bedolla, 0-1. 2B – Trancoso (E), Rios (E). 3B – Mahle (W).

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