High School Baseball: A 10-run sixth dooms Tars

NEWPORT BEACH — An old-timer showed up to watch the Newport Harbor High baseball team play at home on Saturday.

A woman asked the former Sailor, Bob Nettles, if he needed a chair. He declined. The 83-year-old brought his own seat to the afternoon game.

Nettles settled in and opened his program. Inside of it, there was a page dedicated to him, along with his teammates from the 1948 team. While he's not in the team photo, Nettles likes to point out he played on the Sailors' only baseball championship team.

Nettles didn't stick around for the end of his alma mater's game against Beckman in the Newport Elks Tournament. You couldn't blame him. The way the top of the sixth inning was going, the rest of his day would've been shot.

The top half of the sixth lasted almost an hour. By the time it ended, Beckman scored 10 runs to take the lead for good en route to a 15-8 win.

The fashion in which the Patriots improved to 2-0 during pool-play action in the Foothill Division is one Newport Harbor Coach Patrick Murphy will never forget.

"Have you ever seen anything like that before? They scored 10 runs with nobody out," Murphy said. "I've been in a uniform since [I've been] 3 years old and I have never seen anything like that in my life."

Strange things can happen in baseball. For Murphy, who's 35, the top of the sixth clearly got away from his team after it took its first lead.

The Sailors went into the sixth with a 5-4 lead. They went ahead after scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Drew Andary doubled for the second time and drove a run in and Paul Merino singled in another run.

When it was the Sailors' turn to take the field in the sixth, they couldn't get an out. Before the Sailors got the first out, the Patriots batted around, seven recorded hits, two walked, and a pitch hit one.

The biggest hit was turned in by Brennan Guinet, who went three for three with five runs batted in, a double and two walks.

The first time Guinet dug into the batter's box in the sixth, no one was on base. He led off with a walk. In his next at-bat in the same inning, the bases were loaded. He emptied them with one swing, hitting a line drive over the left-field fence for a grand slam.

Guinet put the Patriots up, 14-5, and put the Sailors away.

Newport Harbor used four pitchers in the sixth, the first three failed to get an out against Beckman (4-0), which returns home to play Ocean View in the final pool-play game on Monday at 3 p.m. The Sailors (1-1) are at San Juan Hills on Monday at 3 p.m.

"I was just telling my guys it's a crazy sport," said Lavalle, whose team produced 19 hits, seven going for extra bases. "Games like today are part of the reasons why a lot of people think baseball is hard to watch or hard to play. An hour and a half ago, we were in a dogfight. It was 5-4. We actually started executing on offense, and a 10-run inning later, it turns out that it would be a game that if you weren't here, you'd thought it was [in our favor] from the very beginning."

Nettles knew it wasn't, yet he watched enough of the top of the sixth inning to know the Sailors weren't coming back.

Before he left, Nettles told some home fans he would return on March 22. The program is going to honor Nettles and his championship team before Newport Harbor's Sunset League game against Huntington Beach.

It has been 65 years since the Sailors won a Sunset League title. It never gets old for Nettles to tell people he was a part of it.

Newport Elks Tournament

Foothill Division pool play

Beckman 15, Newport Harbor 8


Beckman 020 02(10) 1 – 15 19 2

Newport 020 030 3 – 8 8 3

Griese, Evert (5), Pearson (6), Sides (7), Page (7) and Shenasi; Seabold, Pender (5), Parks (6), Andary (6), Zielinski (6) and McWhertor. W – Evert, 1-0. L – Parks, 0-1. 2B – Nazaroff (B), Guinet (B), Shenasi (B), Hazard (B), Fuchs (B), Goldstein (B), Andary 2 (NH), Albert (NH). HR – Guinet (B).


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