NEWPORT BEACH — Bragging rights were a given for the winners of the Battle of the Bay doubleheader at Newport Harbor High Tuesday.
Big-time confidence also apparently came attached.
Corona del Mar swept rival Newport Harbor and gained some swagger as it approaches its huge Pacific Coast League opener Friday at home against Beckman and star pitcher James Kaprielian.
“Friday I think it’s going to be a fun game,” CdM senior pitcher Billy Macdonald said. “They have a good pitcher, and so do we with [Andrew] McCormack. I think we got them. I think we are going to surprise some people with that game.”
Macdonald pitched a complete-game two-hitter, helping the Sea Kings (5-2) to a 2-0 victory in the first game. He struck out three and walked three.
“This is a huge confidence booster,” Macdonald said. “Whenever we beat Newport it is huge for the confidence. It was great, especially in our senior year. It’s a great feeling to come out together and get the wins. There’s nothing better to beat your rivals in your senior year.”
If Macdonald’s last name looks familiar that’s because he’s the son of Lakers’ TV play-by-play announcer Bill Macdonald Sr., who also went to CdM. There was another Sea Kings pitcher with a famous last name. Brett Olson earned the win in the nightcap when CdM used some clutch hitting for a 6-3 victory. Olson’s father, Gregg Olson, was a Major League Baseball pitcher who starred at Auburn. As a reliever for the Baltimore Orioles, he was named American League Rookie of the Year.
The Sea Kings had yet another popular man in their dugout. Well, he’s renowned in the community. That would be CdM assistant Evan Chalmers. Assuredly the victory was pretty nice for him, as he is a former head coach of Newport Harbor.
CdM head coach John Emme was also pleased with the wins.
“The clutch hitting is huge,” Emme said. “The pitching has been fantastic all year for us. We have a big task on Friday with Kaprielian and Beckman. I certainly wouldn’t want to go into it any other way.”
CdM senior Brent Lawson provided some of that clutch hitting. He belted an RBI double in the first game and a three-run home run in the nightcap that gave CdM a 6-2 lead in the seventh inning. It was Lawson’s first home run of the season.
“It was a good time to get it,” Lawson said of the home run. “It was a fun time. It was good for us to win this together. It was a good team win. I didn’t do much.”
Brett Thompson singled and scored in the first inning in the first game for CdM.
The Sailors (2-5) received a strong performance from sophomore Shaun Vetrovec in the 2-0 loss. He pitched a complete-game three-hitter, striking out eight, walking two and allowing one earned run.
Newport Harbor Coach Patrick Murphy said Vetrovec has been playing at a high level heading into Sunset League play. The Sailors open league at home Friday against Edison.
Murphy said he would’ve liked at least one win for his team against CdM, but he still thought the Sailors learned from the losses.
Murphy added the Tars at times showed their youth. They play several sophomores, including TK McWhertor, Jake Norton and Vetrovec, who batted three, four, five in the order.
“We’re a little young this year,” Murphy said. “But you have to give credit to [the Sea Kings]. They played well today.”