CORONA DEL MAR — As the carnage mounted Tuesday in his team's first-place Pacific Coast League baseball showdown with host Beckman High, Corona del Mar Coach John Emme had plenty of time to think what he could possibly say to his team afterward.
So, after the Sea Kings bumbled through a 17-0 bludgeoning at the hands of the Patriots that included as many CdM errors as hits (five), 12 walks by CdM pitchers, seven unearned runs and the most lopsided loss in at least eight seasons and likely much longer, the 15th-year head man conjured his most palatable postgame message.
"I told the kids that if I told them before the game to play as poorly as we possibly could, I don't think we could have done it that well, so turn the page," Emme said.
Further waxing positively about the most runs allowed since Beckman and South Hills posted 17 in back-to-back contests in CdM's 2009 campaign, Emme found an additional silver lining after his team (12-4, 4-2 in league and ranked No. 5 in CIF Southern Section Division 3) dropped out of a first-place tie with the No. 3-ranked Patriots (13-3, 5-1).
"It only counts as one [loss]," Emme said. "They don't get to bring any of [the runs] with them Thursday [when the teams meet for the final time in league play at 3:15 p.m. at CdM], so there is really nothing to carry over."
Emme even managed a laugh about his team's ineptitude, which helped the hosts score in every inning and work into the game 23 of the 26 players on their roster.
"It's baseball," said Emme, who used 18 of the 19 players on his roster, including six different pitchers. "On any give day ... and we definitely gave them a day, that's for sure."
Beckman, which has won the last three PCL titles, won a CIF Southern Section crown last season and went to the section title game in 2009, scored six runs on just five hits in the first two innings, as two dropped fly balls led to five unearned runs.
Three walks and five hits led to seven runs in the third for the Patriots, who stranded 10 and left the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth innings.
Patriots' senior starting pitcher Juan Padilla allowed four hits and one walk through five innings to earn the win. Three Beckman relievers combined to get the final six outs.
Sophomore designated hitter Jake Hazard drove in three runs, two with a two-out double to cap the seven-run third, and 13 Patriots reached base in the game.
Junior third baseman Hunter Heckendorn, senior catcher Brent Lawson and junior center fielder Hunter Cullen were the only CdM starters to get hits, all singles.
Senior Brooks Bingham laced a leadoff pinch-double off the left-field fence in the fifth and was the only Sea King to reach third base.
CdM junior Tyler Maloney led off the seventh with a pinch-single.
Emme said senior Stanford-bound ace Andrew McCormack (5-0) would get the start Thursday, likely against Beckman's UCLA-bound senior James Kaprielian, one of three Patriots who did not play Tuesday. McCormack outdueled Kaprielian in CdM's league-opening 3-2 win over Beckman on March 16. McCormack allowed one earned run and two hits, while striking out eight in a complete game.
Pacific Coast League
Beckman 17, Corona del Mar 0
SCORE BY INNINGS
CdM 000 000 0 – 0 5 5
Beck 247 112x – 17 11 0
Macdonald, Olson (2), Tyaher (3), Alser (4), Stone (5), Hastings (6) and Lawson, Younesi (6); Padilla, Griese (6), Deneen (7), Smith (7) and Shenasi, Dey (6). W – Padilla. L – Macdonald, 2-2. 2B – Bingham (CdM), Hazard (B). 3B – Rivera (B).