Baseball & Softball: Laguna Beach record Breakers

Another win, another record set by the Laguna Beach High baseball team.

And so the Breakers season moves onward.

Laguna started the final week of the regular season Tuesday playing Costa Mesa in the first of two games between the schools. The Breakers, who already have the Orange Coast League title in tow, coasted to a 9-0 home-field victory.

The win was the 20th consecutive for the Breakers, a continuing school record, and the shutout was the eighth of the season, which also set a school record.

Laguna took a 24-2 record into Thursday's series, league and regular-season finale against the Mustangs. A win would give the Breakers an undefeated (15-0) league record, only the second perfect 15-0 league ledger in program history. The 2011 Breakers were the first Laguna team to set that league record for wins.

The score from Thursday's game wasn't available at press time.

Tuesday's win was a senior class moment, as Laguna Coach Mike Bair played only his senior players on senior day. It began on the mound, where Joe Redfearn drew his first start, Kurt Rebone (7-0) got the win in relief, and Cameron Hall closed. It continued at the plate, where Larry Stewart doubled among two hits and drove in three runs, Robbie McInerny and Luke Simon both had two hits and drove in a run, and Cole Millerd and Adam Rodner each had two hits.

Stewart was one of five Breakers to double in the game. Both Kristian Rieckhoff and Jackson Rees doubled and had a run batted in, and Blake Hester and Dade Shields also doubled.

The Breakers had 14 hits and a team batting average of .438 on the day.

"It was special to have only seniors play, and to set the school record for shutouts in a season, on senior day, also was pretty special," Laguna Coach Mike Bair said. "We hit really well. We won, 9-0, and we did a lot of things right."

In a previous OCL game on May 3, Laguna scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning against Godinez and went on to post a 7-3 win over the visiting Grizzlies. Rees and Grant Wilhelm both had two RBIs and Rees, who started on the mound, allowed two hits and struck out five for the win.

Laguna is in line for one of the top seeds in the Division 4 playoffs. The Breakers were ranked No. 3, behind top-ranked Westlake Village Oaks Christian and Kaiser, heading into the week. As champions of the Orange Coast League, they'll start postseason play, at home, on May 17.

The CIF Southern Section baseball pairings will be announced Monday.



The Breakers headed into the final week of the regular season still in the battle for an automatic berth to next week's CIF Southern Section playoffs. Their bid for that berth took a hit Tuesday when they were edged, 2-1, by host Godinez in Orange Coast League play.

The loss left the Breakers (7-16 overall, 4-5 league) in fourth place before they took on Costa Mesa Thursday in their regular-season finale. The score from Thursday's senior day game at Thurston Middle School wasn't available at press time.

The top three teams in the final OCL standings receive automatic berths to the playoffs.

Cory Kent went two for three with an RBI and had a strong game at shortstop, Kennedi Gherardini had a line-drive hit and, at catcher, picked off a base runner and chased down a foul ball for an out, and Jen Sorenson had a hit to deep right-center field for Laguna.

Haley Putnam allowed five hits.

"We played outstanding defense, behind Haley Putnam's great performance on the mound," Laguna Coach Victoria Batistelli said. "We had smart, aggressive base running, but our hits just could not find the gaps. I am very proud of the performance."

In a game played May 2, Laguna was shut out by OCL champion Calvary Chapel, 10-0.

The CIF Southern Section softball playoff pairings will be announced Monday.

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