The 75th season of Laguna Beach High baseball turned out to rank as one of the program’s most successful.
An Orange Coast League championship, an unprecedented win streak and a CIF Southern Section second-round appearance, were just some of the momentous achievements attained by the Breakers in 2013.
That success was reflected in the All-Orange Coast League baseball team selections. Ten Breakers highlight the team which is headed by pitchers Jackson Rees and Kurt Rebone, a pair of seniors who were named Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.
Laguna completed an undefeated run in league competition.
“We won league, 15-0, we broke quite a few school records, made it to the second round of CIF, and finished the year at 26-3 overall. We had a fantastic season,” Laguna Coach Mike Bair said.
Bair, in his second year at the helm, saw the potential in his current squad during a 2012 season that saw the Breakers go 18-9 and win a CIF Southern Section playoff wild-card game to advance to the first round.
“I knew we would be a solid team and I believed that if we could unite and play our best for each other, that we could win league and make a great run in CIF,” he said.
The Laguna pitching staff had a terrific season. Rees went 10-0, Rebone 7-0, junior Grant Wilhelm was 3-3, senior Cole Millerd went 3-0 with two saves, senior Larry Stewart also was 3-0, and junior Richie Nunis had two saves.
Rees tied former Breaker Chris Paul for career pitching wins and set the program record for most wins (10-0) for an undefeated pitcher.
Bair said the rotation turned in the best earned-run average (1.57) in school history. The previous record was 1.64 set two years ago.
The Breakers collectively set several team records during the season. Game: triples (four, vs. Saddleback); plate appearances, seven innings (58 vs. Saddleback); at-bats, seven innings: (46 vs. Godinez). Season: win streak (22 games). Batting: hit by pitch (48; old mark, 36, 2010). Pitching: shutouts (nine; old mark, seven, 2011); ERA: 1.57.
“We worked hard on using the whole field, taking what the pitcher gives rather than trying to force the issue, [having] quality at bats, and hitting in hitter’s counts,” Bair said of the Breakers’ offensive prowess. “We did that pretty well this season.”
Laguna loses a big chunk of its lineup from this record-setting unit but do return key pieces for next spring.
“These 13 seniors helped make Laguna Beach a baseball town,” Bair said of the players the program will lose to graduation in a few weeks. “Their impact will always be felt. It’s amazing how much this program has changed the past six years and these seniors are a major reason why.”
All-Orange Coast League Baseball Team
Most Valuable Player: Jackson Rees (Laguna Beach) Sr.
Pitcher of the Year: Kurt Rebone (Laguna Beach) Sr.
Laguna Beach: Robbie McInerny, Sr.; Steven Harrison, Jr.; Preston GrandPre, Jr.; Richie Nunis, Jr.
Estancia: Tyler Rios, Sr.; Ben Beck, Sr.; Steven Macias, Sr.
Calvary Chapel: Wyatt Haccou, Sr.; Brandon Coon, Sr.; Phillip Stout, Sr.; John Erhardt, Sr.
Godinez: Robert Morales, Sr.
Laguna Beach: Cole Millerd, Sr.; Larry Stewart, Sr.; Blake Hester, Sr.; Grant Wilhelm, Jr.
Estancia: Alex Chairez, Sr.; Levi Stillman, Sr.
Calvary Chapel: Derek Villalobos, Sr.; Patrick Cromwell, Jr.; Christian Sheehan, Sr.; Daniel Morales, Soph.
Godinez: Giovanni Cuellar, Jr.
Saddleback: Alvaro Gonzalez, Sr.