High School Baseball: Eagles sweep Costa Mesa

COSTA MESA — The Estancia High baseball team rang up its opponent well before the actual bell on the Paul Troxel Trophy at home plate.

In three games against rival Costa Mesa this season, the Eagles pounded out 38 hits and 36 runs. They produced their latest runs under the lights at TeWinkle Park on Wednesday, and their bats shined bright in a 12-0 rout of the Mustangs.

Estancia swept the three-game series against the Mustangs and beat them for the 10th straight time. The Battle for the Bell is Estancia's for the fourth straight season and three of those have been clean sweeps.

The Eagles actually wrapped up the rivalry on Tuesday, yet they had to wait until Wednesday to ring the Paul Troxel Trophy. And they said it felt good to do it at night, on a neutral field close to Costa Mesa's campus and during spring break.

Estancia cannot relax much. The Eagles went into the evening in a third-place tie with Godinez in the Orange Coast League.

The league is guaranteed three CIF Southern Section playoff berths. Tyler Rios said the Eagles (12-7, 5-4 in league) plan to grab one of those spots and return to the postseason. They've made the playoffs in each of Rios' first three seasons.

Rios helped the Eagles' cause on Wednesday. He turned in the team's second quality start in as many days against the Mustangs. The right-hander threw six shutout innings in which he struck out 10 and allowed only two hits.

One of those hits Rios (2-2) gave up was to the first batter he saw. Justin Fisher lined a ball over right fielder Alex Chairez's head and then he tried to stretch it into a double, only to get thrown out at second base by Chairez.

Costa Mesa did not threaten again, until the fifth inning and with the Eagles in control. Rios walked the leadoff batter and then a fielding error gave the Mustangs runners on first and second.

Next came the second Mesa hit and it loaded the bases. Rios got out of the jam by mowing down two consecutive batters.

Costa Mesa (4-14, 1-8) was blanked for the sixth time this year. The young Mustangs have struggled scoring runs and making the routine play on defense. Walking nine and hitting three batters also didn't help Costa Mesa against the Eagles.

Things began to unravel for Costa Mesa before the start of the second inning. The umpire had an issue with starter Mason Tufuga's glove. He told Tufuga to cover up the wrist part of his glove because of the white logo.

That was just the start of Tufuga's issues. Chairez led off and reached first base safely. When Tufuga, a lefty, had him picked off at first, Chairez still beat the throw from first to second base.

Jason Rodriguez, who went two for three with three runs batted in and two doubles, picked up Chairez with a double to right field. It was the start of a three-run second inning in which Dylan Reyes turned a sacrifice bunt into a hit by beating the pitcher to the first-base bag.

To make matters worse, Tufuga got Rios to pop up toward the right-field line, but the ball dropped near three teammates for a single. Another run scored after Rios' second hit.

Rios, who finished three for four with two RBIs and a double, wasn't complaining.

"I had it all four years," Rios said of the Paul Troxel Trophy. "It's nice to show that Estancia does have a program. We still have good years to come. We have a lot of freshmen that have talent."

One of those freshmen Rios is referring to is his cousin, Nick Torres. Torres relieved Rios in the seventh and struck out two.

Orange Coast League

Estancia 12, Costa Mesa 0


Mesa 000 000 0 - 0 2 3

Estancia 034 500 0 - 12 8 1

Tufuga, Howard (4) and Kistler; Rios, Torres (7) and Letterman. W - Rios, 2-2. L – Tufuga. 2B – Rodriguez (E) 2, Macias (E), Rios (E).


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