Baseball and Softball: Laguna rules league

A sweep, and then a rout. That is how the Laguna Beach baseball teams got things done this week.

The Breakers maintained their grip on the Orange Coast League lead by defeating both Estancia and Saddleback in consecutive outings. The two wins kept them one game ahead of Calvary Chapel in the league standings and set up a showdown Tuesday against the Eagles.

But, before Laguna could set its sights on Calvary Chapel, it first must face Saddleback. The teams close out their three-game league series at 3:15 p.m. Friday at Laguna.

The Breakers picked up their second decisive win against the Roadrunners Tuesday by running away to a 25-1 victory. Grant Wilhelm (2-2) struck out nine in four innings and Preston Grand Pre paced the offense with a four-for-seven day that included two triples and a double, five runs batted in and four runs scored.

The win, the most lopsided of the season for Laguna, put the Breakers' win streak at 14 games, and put them at 8-0 in league, and 18-2 overall.

They had opened their OCL schedule on March 15 with a 13-0 win over Saddleback.

Laguna previously closed out its league series with Estancia. A 9-0 win on April 12 completed a 3-0 sweep of the Eagles. Jackson Rees allowed only two hits in five innings, and went two for three with two RBIs.

Rees ran his record to 7-0.

It marked the second time this year that Laguna blanked Estancia on its home field. The Breakers won by an 8-0 score on March 19.

"A truly great win," is what Laguna Coach Mike Bair said of the 9-0 shutout. "We knew Estancia would be very tough to sweep and beat again at home against their ace, but as the score shows, we really showed up to play our best baseball."

Bair said senior Larry Stewart (2-0) will start Friday against Saddleback.

The Laguna-Calvary Chapel game is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Ryan Lemmon Stadium in Irvine.

"Friday, we hope to take care of business by not underestimating our opponent, executing the game, and playing 21 outs to the finish with our best effort," Bair said. "Tuesday will be intense, tough, fun and exciting. Calvary is a solid team and we are eager to play them. We know the OCL title rests heavily upon this game, and the following home game on Friday against Calvary. We will be ready to play solid baseball and give it our best shot for victory."


The Breakers dropped two recent Orange Coast League games.

On Monday, Laguna played host to league-leading and defending champion Calvary Chapel at Thurston Middle School, and dropped a 7-1 game to the Eagles. The Breakers scored their run on a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh by Kennedi Gherardini.

Haley Putnam tripled and walked for the Breakers, who went to 1-2 in league and 4-13 overall.

"Calvary is a strong opponent and we played exceptionally strong defense, but unfortunately, our offense did not produce," Laguna Coach Victoria Batistelli said.

Batistelli said her team played perhaps its "best game" it had all season when it was edged, 10-9, by host Estancia on April 11. Jordan Hartman went three for four, which included a bases-clearing double in the top of the sixth that put Laguna in the lead.

The Breakers played Godinez Thursday. The score wasn't available at press time. They play at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday at Costa Mesa, and at 3:15 p.m. Thursday at Saddleback.

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World