NEWPORT BEACH — A couple of times this baseball season, pitcher Connor Seabold has left games late with the lead, only to see his team lose it. Newport Harbor Coach Patrick Murphy says Seabold has been a hard-luck loser.
Seabold calls it more like heartbroken.
He was in a similar situation on Tuesday in the Sailors' third game in the Beach Pit Classic. After he threw six shutout innings and Newport Harbor led by three runs, Murphy told Seabold news he didn't want to hear.
Seabold wasn't going to finish the game against Greeley West of Colorado.
"He told me to go to right," said Seabold, who saw things go wrong at the start of the seventh.
The leadoff batter walked, and then three batters later, Greeley West doubled in a run. Gone was the shutout.
Murphy brought in another reliever. He went with Taylor Parks, who opened the tournament on Saturday with his first start on the mound.
Three days later, Murphy asked Parks to save the game and he did, allowing Seabold to get the decision in the Sailors' 3-1 victory at home.
Newport Harbor has won each of its three games in the tournament, which wraps up on Wednesday for the Sailors against Sun Valley Village Christian at 3:15 p.m. The Sailors have played host to every game of the round-robin tournament.
Murphy joked that his team wanted to be the Newport Harbor bracket champion. If there is such a prize, the Sailors (9-5) are close to earning it with strong pitching, solid defense and timely hitting.
The only innings in which Newport Harbor was in trouble against Greeley West (2-3) were the first and seventh.
Seabold (2-2) gave up three of his five hits in the first. The singles led to a bases-loaded situation, which the right-hander got out of by striking out Nate Loera swinging.
The next two hits Seabold allowed were in the fourth and fifth, when his pitches began to add up. Murphy said Seabold's pitch count got a little higher than where he wanted it to be, which is around 80-90, and that's why he pulled him before the seventh.
"He's one of our main guys," Murphy said of Seabold, the team's No. 2 starter who has struck out 42 and walked eight in 35 innings. "I think our bullpen is capable. We have a pretty deep pitching staff this year. We wanted to make sure he was ready to go next week."
Sunset League play resumes next week. Seabold is slated to start in the second of two games against Edison, which shares third place with Newport Harbor and Huntington Beach at 2-3.
While the rest of the teams in the Sunset League are on spring break, Newport Harbor isn't. The Beach Pit Classic has allowed the Sailors to stay in a rhythm.
The Sailors' heart of the lineup, Jake Norton and Daniel Albert, each drove in a run, Norton doubling one in and Albert singling one in off starter Sev Stoffel (1-1).
Garrett Prather, the No. 9 hitter, provided the big shot for Newport Harbor. He led off the third inning with a solo home run to right field.
Prather also played well in his first start in left field. He made a nice catch in the gap in left-center field. The defense backed up Seabold, who struck out five, walked one, and lowered his earned-run average to 1.58.
"I felt good," said Seabold, whose previous stint on the mound was Saturday, when he recorded a save in the tournament opener against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. "The arm didn't feel as good today, but it still felt pretty good."
Seabold said the arm felt good enough to toss what would've been his second complete-game shutout of the season.
Beach Pit Classic
Newport Harbor 3, Greeley West 1
SCORE BY INNINGS
Greeley 000 000 1 – 1 6 2
Newport 101 100 x – 3 7 0
Stoffel and Denovellis; Seabold, Dipoto (7), Parks (7) and McWhertor. W – Seabold, 2-2. L – Stoffel, 1-1. Sv – Parks. 2B – Fowler (GW), Norton (NH), Benter (NH). HR – Prather (NH).